Drinks to go proposal defeated by city

A proposed ordinance change to allow bars and restaurants sell drinks to go failed to advance at the Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee Thursday.

The ordinance would have allowed the sale of mixed drinks in glass jars of up to 32 ounces with seals attached to the jar and lid by the establishment.

Jamestown Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said some of Jamestown's liquor ordinances had been suspended to allow the sale of drinks to go during the coronavirus pandemic. That temporary suspension of the ban on selling drinks to go expires at the end of October but could be extended by the City Council.

A proposal by Mike Harris of IDK Bar and Grill requested the City Council allow the sale of drinks in that manner on a permanent basis.

"It has been used for specialty drinks which has really helped us in the pandemic," he said. "... now 30% of our business is to go. People can order a couple of pizzas and a couple of drinks."


Heinrich said the ordinance as written would allow any bar in Jamestown to sell drinks to go.

Councilman Dan Buchanan called the proposal a "really bad idea."

"What this really amounts to is off-sale by the drink," he said. "It is nibbling away at our liquor laws."

Parliamentary procedures do not allow motions that prohibit an action. Instead, Heinrich made a motion to approve the measure which then died for lack of a second, defeating the proposal.

In other business, the Finance and Legal Committee amended the planned 3021 budget to authorize a raise of $1,008 per year for all full-time employees of the city of Jamestown. The raise amounts to about $42 per paycheck for the workers.

Funding for the salary increase will come from coronavirus assistance program revenue that was not part of the preliminary budget discussed in July. That discussion did not authorize any wage increases for city employees.

A public hearing and final approval of the Jamestown city budget is planned for the Oct. 5 City Council meeting.

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