Council OKs ordinance regulating sale of alcoholic beverages

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
In addition to discussing the parameters of a new aquatic center at its Tuesday meeting, the Hillsboro City Council approved an ordinance drafted by City Attorney Dan Baldwin that will regulate the sale of alcohol and cereal malt beverages within the city limits of Hillsboro.

Baldwin said the ordinance basically reflects the provisions of state law.

“Basically, you can zone so you have place restriction, you can work on the hours of operation, and you have the ability to add a charge for licensing-these are the discussion points,” Baldwin said. “The rest of the regulations are covered by state law.”

As for zoning, the ordinance states that drinking establishments and other places of business where cereal malt beverages are sold will be limited to areas zoned as limited commercial, highway commercial and general commercial as defined by the city.

Consumption of alcoholic liquor will not be allowed on any city-owned property except for the Hillsboro Municipal Golf Course.

The hours of operation stipulated for licensees are:

n except for establishments that generate at least 30 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of food, no sale or consumption of cereal malt beverages between midnight and 6 a.m., or on Sundays;

n for private clubs, no serving or consumption of alcoholic liquor between 2 a.m. and 9 a.m., any day.

n for caterers, no serving or consumption of alcoholic liquor between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., any day.

The ordinance also spells out the following annual licensing fees:

n $200 for a general retailer of cereal malt beverages and $50 for a limited retailer. The latter is defined as a business that sells cereal malt beverages only in original and unopened containers and not for consumption on the premises.

n $250 for both non-profit and for-profit clubs;

n $250 for a drinking establishment, which is defined as being open to the general public and where alcoholic liquor by the individual drink is sold.

Councilor Len Coryea asked about a provision in the ordinance that requires a person wanting a license to be a resident of Kansas for one year and of Marion County for at least six months before applying.

How would that affect someone who wants to open a bar-and-grill franchise in Hillsboro that has its corporate headquarters in another county or state, he asked.

City Administrator Steven Garrett said the local manager applies for the license, not the corporation.

Mayor Delores Dalke added that through the years, convenience stores who want to sell 3.2 beer “have always found somebody local to apply for the license.”

Other business

In other matters, the council:

n interviewed representatives from three accounting firms that have submitted bids to become the city’s auditor for the next three years, but the council decided to wait until the next meeting to make a decision.

The three firms were: Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball, which has an office in Hillsboro; Knudsen, Monroe & Co., based in Newton; and Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd LLC, based in McPherson.

The bids included a charge for general auditing services as well for a single audit, which is required when federal fund expenditures exceed $500,000 in a given year. The three bids ranged from $8,350 to $11,386 for one year.

“We are not required to take the low bid,” Garrett said to the council. “Of course, we want to take the best bid. That’s why you guys get paid the big bucks. You get to decide what that is.”

The representatives from the three firms responded to questions and comments from the council and mayor for about 20 minutes.

n adopted Ordinance No. 1094, which will lower residential and commercial electrical rates from 9.15 cents to 9 cents per kilowatt hour.

Garrett said the reduction was possible because this summer’s cooler temperatures resulted in lower usage peaks, which is what Westar uses to figure its base rate for the next year.

n gave preliminary approval to a request from Tim Isaac of 108 S. Elm that the city vacate an alley way adjacent to his property. The alley has been platted but never used, Garrett said.

If the city vacates the property, the property lines of the adjacent landowners moves to the center of the vacated right-of-way. The owners on the other side of the right-of-way are Ray Funk and Johnnie Liles.

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