Elkton City Council has moved one step closer to making alcohol sales in Elkton a reality with the passing of an ordinance that sets out the different types of licenses people can apply for and includes the fees for those licenses.

The ordinance also sets out requirements for the license application the city must develop and lists duties for an alcoholic beverage control administrator, a position to be appointed by Elkton Mayor Arthur Green as part of the effort.

"I have had a few phone calls," Elkton City Clerk and Treasurer Laura Brock noted of the interest expressed by local businesses and restaurants in the weeks since residents approved alcohol sales in the city during the May election.

The recent ordinance passed unanimously during two special sessions of the Elkton City Council on June 17 and 18. Brock said one council member was absent during both meetings but remaining councilmen voted in favor of the measure.

The sessions were special-called meetings because the council's regular meeting date coincided with the Pennyrile Area Development District's annual meeting.

Brock said the next step for the city will be developing the application form.

"It's my understanding that we cannot actually issue a license until 60 days after the election results are certified," she said, noting that July 24 is when the city will start approving applications for licenses to sell alcohol within the city limits.

Todd County Clerk Leslie Cunningham certified the results on May 24.

Brock said applicants must be compliant with all regulations and cannot be delinquent on any taxes with the city. Officials will also have to ensure the location of the establishment meets Elkton's zoning ordinance, Brock said.

She said the alcoholic beverage control administrator will review the license applications and ensure applicants are in compliance with all the regulations.

Brock noted there are 23 different licenses the city can issue in regard to its alcohol sales efforts, among them licenses for by-the-drink sales or package beer.

"It's basically just different options that are available to businesses," she said.

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Brock noted that any restaurant can sell liquor by the drink if it applies for a license, and she explained that state regulations for package licensing usually allow one retail liquor store license per 2,500 residents, but since Elkton has fewer than 2,500 residents, state officials are allowing two licenses in the city.

"They say that's to have competition," Brock noted.

She observed that, with 23 types of licenses available to businesses when it comes to alcohol sales in the city, local officials are also busy learning about them.

"We've never dealt with these licenses," she said.

Brock noted Jeff Traughber drafted the recent ordinance, which she described as basically a template sent to the city by state officials.

Traughber is the new Todd County attorney and previously was the Elkton city attorney; he now is the city of Elkton's legal counsel.

Among the options available to interested parties as listed in the ordinance are a special temporary license, at a cost of $166 per event, distiller's and brewer's licenses, each available at a cost of $500 per year and a Class A rectifier's license.

Cost for the latter is $3,000 per year, the ordinance notes.

Limited licenses for golf courses and restaurants are $1,200 per year.

The ordinance also notes the mayor "shall appoint an employee of the city" to serve as alcoholic beverage control administrator and the administrator may appoint additional personnel to assist at times with his job duties.

According to the ordinance, any business issued a license for the sale of alcoholic beverages is authorized to stay open for sale of those beverages until 2 a.m. and for selling soft drinks and other non-alcoholic purposes until 2:30 a.m.

No alcoholic beverages may be sold at retail from 2 to 6 a.m. on any day, and "except as otherwise regulated by law, such alcoholic beverages may be sold during all other hours, including on Sundays," the ordinance states.

It notes that licensees wishing to sell or dispense distilled spirits or wine by the drink on Sunday must obtain a Sunday retail drink license in keeping with state laws.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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