Hannibal City Council Rejects Alcohol Ordinance
An ordinance expanding boundaries of alcohol consumption at downtown Hannibal events was defeated by a vote of 4 to 3 at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Current city codes generally confine alcohol consumption to fenced-in areas of city-approved events. The proposed amendment would have given the council an option to expand the consumption area, if the sponsor clearly defined the festival boundaries, provided signage, and presented plans for screening minors.
Ronnie Gordon of Vera Belle Soap Company in Hannibal addressed the council as a vendor who has attended events tarnished by the negative effects of public alcohol consumption. He said one such event was the Hartsburg, Missouri Pumpkin Festival. Gordon says he is not against all alcohol consumption, but not every event has to involve it. He told the council expanding alcohol use at family-friendly events such as the Autumn Historic Folklife Festival could see an extremely successful event go downhill.
Councilmen Mike Dobson and Kevin Knickerbocker countered that the council would have the latitude to decide appropriate boundaries on an individual basis.
Mayor Hark questioned why the current ordinance crafted 5 or 6 years ago should be undone. The Mayor said he did not see a need to expand the boundaries and have people wandering from one end of a festival to the other. The Mayor also pointed out several bars exist in the downtown area near to the events.
When the debate ended, the ordinance was defeated when 4 council members voted No: Mayor Hark, Kevin Lionberger, Jim Van Hoose, and James Hark. The 3 members voting for the change were Mike Dobson, Jamie Locke, and Kevin Knickerbocker.
In other business, riverfront renovation plans took a step forward after the council voted to contract with Klingner and Associates for engineering design and analysis. Parks and Recreation Director Andy Dorian told the council the firm is well acquainted with river projects and has a good working relationship with the Corps of Engineers. Klingner will provide up to 3 different concepts of riverfront development at a cost of $27,500.
Two Public Hearings are set for September 1, just prior to the next council meeting: Finance Director Doug Warren will hold a hearing at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers regarding the 2015 City Property Tax Levy. A second Public Hearing at 6:45 will address a request by property owners to annex 3.6 acres of land near Clover Road.
Purchase of a new fire truck in mid-September means a 1990 Smeal open-cab engine will be retired and put out for sealed bids from surrounding departments. The council approved declaring the 1990 model as surplus and spending up to $10,000 to outfit the new model and place it in service. Fire Chief Bill Madore told the council the old engine is expected to bring in excess of $10,000.
One additional Music Under the Stars will take place in the downtown area on the evening of August 27, after council approval. Hannibal native Corey B. Clay is scheduled to perform.