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City adopts 24-7 beer sales on second reading
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The Smithville city council approved a measure that will allow beer to be sold for off-premises consumption 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and permit eligible dining establishments to serve beer on the property by a 3-2 margin last week.After a public hearing on the matter at a special meeting Thursday evening, Aldermen Danny Washer, Gayla Hendrix, and Jason Judd Murphy voted in favor of adopting the changes on second reading.Alderman Tim Stribling and Shawn Jacobs voted against the measure. A large public turnout for the meeting brought a crowd of Smithvillians to city hall to either support or denounce the controversial measure.Only residents, property owners, and business owners in the city were permitted to speak as per procedures adopted by the council in a 2008 resolution.Wallace Caldwell, Michael Pinegar, Bobby Thomason, Bernard Houk, Bill Shaw, and W.J. White all offered opinions against the changes, while Faye Fuqua stood to show her support for the adoption of the new laws.The city has previously has allowed beer to be sold from 6 a.m. until midnight Monday-Saturday, with no sales offered on Sunday and Christmas Day.Restaurants did not have the option of serving beer on their premises under the old regulations.Twelve businesses inside the city limits are currently licensed to sell beer, including Walmart, Food Lion, Dollar General Store, Mapco Express, Kwik-N-Ezy, Jewel's Market, Village Market, South Congress BP, West Broad BP, Eastside Citgo, El Mariachi, and Mercadito Chabelita.In his remarks to the aldermen, Wallace Caldwell of Anthony Avenue said he was disappointed that some members of the council were supporting the measure in light of the fact that city voters have already voted against liquor sales twice this year.Wallace asked the mayor to veto the action of the aldermen if the changes were approved. “I think that I speak for several of the people in Smithville.