The Hazard City Commission took the first steps recently toward the city allowing the sale of alcohol on Sundays within the city limits.
On Jan. 21, the commission held first reading of an ordinance change which would allow the sales, but specifics on how that would look are still being hammered out. The sales would not be allowed unless approved during second reading in February.
Assistant City Attorney Lori Reynolds spoke about the process during the meeting.
“Basically, here in the City of Hazard, we do not have any alcoholic beverages sold within city limits on Sundays,” Reynolds said. “Kentucky law allows alcoholic beverages to be sold on Sundays for Kentucky ... and allows an additional license fee to be paid by the establishments that want to or elect to have Sunday alcohol sales. (Businesses) do not have to elect to have Sunday sales.”
The change would be to Hazard City Ordinance 111, section 11.40.
“In order for us to allow Sunday sales it has to be provided for in this ordinance,” said Reynolds.
The change will affect businesses within Hazard city limits that have an alcohol license but will not change the rules for any business within Perry County that is outside of the city limits of Hazard.
Reynolds told commissioners there are numerous aspects of the ordinance change the city officials will have to consider before final approval.
“There is an option to have all distilled spirits, wine and bulk sales on Sunday sold in liquor stores or convenience stores and restaurants,” Reynolds said. “Or you can limit the type of alcohol sold on Sundays and just have beer.”
Commissioners can also set the hours during which sales will be allowed, but cannot allow them any earlier than 1 p.m. on Sundays. Those sales, she said, can last until midnight.
With all the issues, Reynolds said, the decision was made to bring the change before the commission and begin the discussion at first reading.
“The City Manager (Derrick Hall) and I thought that it was best if we bring this for a first reading tonight and if the commission decides to pass this by vote tonight we will have a second reading in February before it becomes a law,” she said.
Reynolds said that there would be opportunities for the public to speak their opinions regarding this issue to the commission before it’s enacted.
The commission’s vote was unanimous, with the exception of Commissioner Susan Brotherton, who abstained because she owns a business with an alcohol license.