An ordinance to amend the city’s codified ordinance concerning the consumption of alcohol in public places was heavily debated topic at the Galion City Council meeting Tuesday evening.
Chris Stone, owner of the Eighteen-O-Three Taproom on Harding Way East, said the ordinance will not only provide the opportunity to business owners to serve alcohol outdoors, but will also offer the opportunity for non-profit organizations to apply for the sale and consumption of alcohol on public property with a heavily controlled temporary permit through the state’s division of liquor control.
“The craft beer and wine festivals you see happening in other cities are sponsored by non-profit organizations,” Chris Stone said.
Chris Stone said the people that attend those types of festivals spend money and that is what Galion needs to help bolster business in the city.
While all seven council members, along with several members of the public that were present at the meeting, approved of the portion of the legislation that would allow business owners like Chris Stone to serve alcohol outdoors, the bone of contention was whether or not to allow alcohol on city-owned property, such as parks.
“I am fine with business owners being able to serve alcohol outdoors but I do not like the idea of anyone being able to obtain a permit to serve alcohol anywhere they want to within the city,” said council member Susan Bean.
Chris Stone’s brother, Bucyrus attorney Adam Stone, said that prohibition of alcohol on public property is still in place within the ordinance.
“These are just two exceptions. The application with the city is only the first step that must be taken,” Adam Stone said.
City law director Thomas Palmer said the application must be approved by the city service director.
“Then the organization has to obtain a temporary permit through the state liquor control board, which is very stringent. There are many controls in place before alcohol can be served in a public area,” Palmer said.
The first reading of the ordinance was passed with a four to three vote as council members Bean, Jim Hedges and Tom Fellner vote no in favor of sending the ordinance back to committee to be split into two ordinances. There are two more readings of the ordinance to be voted upon before it is approved as law.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras