Restaurants in Greenwood may soon be able to serve wine and cocktails to their diners on Sundays.
The City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday to send a resolution to the Mississippi Department of Revenue requesting that restaurants with a liquor license be allowed to sell all alcoholic beverages on Sundays from 10 a.m. to midnight. Presently, they can serve only beer.
Council President Ronnie Stevenson emphasized that the change would not apply to liquor stores, which are barred by state law from operating on Sundays.
The alcohol proposal was recommended by Mayor Carolyn McAdams, who argued that allowing restaurants to offer alcohol on Sundays would help with tourism. When she raised the issue with the council last month, McAdams presented members with a list showing dozens of Mississippi cities that allow alcoholic beverages to be served in restaurants on Sundays. Among them are Greenville, Grenada, Cleveland and Clarksdale.
If the change is approved by the Department of Revenue, it should go into effect within 30 days, Stevenson said.
“We’re going to be progressive and look for restaurants to come” to Greenwood, he said, that may have been reluctant in the past because of the ban on Sunday alcohol sales.
“If you want a Chili’s, something like that, you have to have this,” Stevenson said.
Ward 6’s David Jordan and Ward 7’s Carl Palmer were absent from the meeting.
The council also voted unanimously to proceed with a hearing to determine the fate of the dilapidated Cowan Music building downtown.
“It’s condemned. It’s caused damage to other tenants,” said Stevenson.
“It’s an emergency situation,” echoed Ward 1’s Johnny Jennings.
The interior of the building, located at 100 W. Market St., has a hole in the roof, exposed wiring and heaps of litter throughout the floor.
The council rejected the recommendation of Code Enforcement Officer Betty Stigler to postpone action on the building, owned by Brenda Cowan Smith, until the city’s Historic Preservation Committee has completed its examination of the structure.
Stevenson was hesitant about allowing the preservation committee to determine the fate of the building when, he said, it’s obvious that the structure is in terrible shape.
“It’s like everything trumps the City Council, and it shouldn’t,” Stevenson said.
McAdams told Stevenson that the city council needs professional advice prior to demolishing a building.
City Attorney Don Brock added that the preservation committee has considered getting an engineer’s report regarding the structural status of the building. Last month the council voted not to hire an engineer to conduct such an assessment for itself.
In other business, the council authorized the city to apply for three law-enforcement grants.
One would assist the Police Department in expanding its Violence Against Women Act program. If approved, Greenwood would receive more than $43,000 in funds and would need to make a 25 percent match of just over $14,000.
Another, worth $70,000, would target drunk drivers by providing the city with Breathalyzers and one DUI vehicle while supplementing the salaries of DUI personnel.
The third grant, worth $67,000, would help with traffic safety.
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