Squires pass package liquor store regs
After weeks of tweaking, Monday night Mt. Juliet city commissioners passed on second reading stringent regulations to govern package liquor stores.
Starting today, prospective liquor store owners have 10 days to submit an application to open a store. The applications will be reviewed by the city attorney and turned over to the Mt. Juliet Alcoholic Beverage Board. They will be evaluated and graded with a point system of certain criteria and narrowed down to the top three most qualified.
The vote was 4-1, with District 1 City Commissioner Ray Justice voting no. He said he thought the strict regulations thwarted private enterprise.
"Mt. Juliet has thrived because city government has been proactive in regard to free enterprise," he said. "I'm not a big advocate for liquor. But we want you to open them and we want your taxes. We won't allow anyone to build a piece of trash."
Before approving the regulations hashed out over several weeks, commissioners settled on what the stores should be named. After a light hearted comment from resident Sidney Payne – she gathered signatures to get the issue on a referendum – saying she didn't care what the stores were called, "but please don't call them Wine and Hooch stores!" squires decided on Wine and Spirits.
Residency requirements, location, size, and limitation of number of retailers will be regulated, among other things. Applicants have to be a resident of the city for two years or a citizen of Wilson County for five years. Retail liquor stores can not be located within 1,000 feet of a school, church, library or municipal park. And, they must be at least three miles apart from each other. The stores must be at least 3,000 square feet and must be located on the ground floor. The stores cannot have televisions, slot machines are other devices that cause people to cognate. One retail liquor license will be issued for each 8,000 residents, with no more than three issued for the city until a new census has been taken. All stores must have a security system in place. Store hours are regulated Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. The regulations state that an applicant may seek review of a denial of a Certificate of Compliance in chancery court within 60 days of denial.
In other business, squires approved spending $75,000 for the reconstruction of the Mt. Juliet Little League Park. The park recently took a severe hit from an EF2 tornado.
Managing Editor Laurie Everett can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 46 or by email at email@example.com