An ordinance opening the door to beer sales in the City of Clarksburg was approved on a first reading Monday night by the Clarksburg Mayor and Board of Aldermen.
As City Attorney Michael King pointed out, the ordinance, once finalized, will make it legal for businesses in Clarksburg to sell beer, so long as such sales are not taking place within 200 feet of the front entrance of a school, church, or other public gathering place.
Mayor Jamie Peterson raised the question as to whether the Kwik Mart on Highway 22 is over 200 feet away from the front gate of the nearby city playground.
King said he did not know, so Peterson put the meeting on hold while he and Clarksburg Police Officer Cary Don Smith went out and stepped off the distance. They determined that the front entrance of Kwik Mart is around 264 feet away from the entrance to the playground.
While expressing his personal displeasure with bringing beer sales back to Clarksburg for the first time in several decades, Peterson commented that the fact that no citizens came out to express opposition must indicate that the community understands the financial straights that the city is in and the need for the additional revenue that beer sales will bring.
“This has been wearing on me like crazy,” said the mayor. “It’s a necessary evil. I just hate that a town has to do this to survive. I’d give my job away in a minute if I didn’t have to do this, but I’m the mayor, and I have to do whatever I can to keep this community alive.”
Alderman Carrie Etter made the motion to pass the ordinance on a first reading, and Alderman Barbara McClure seconded that motion.
Peterson added his “aye” to the unanimous vote.
The ordinance will come up for a second and final reading at the April 17 meeting at 6 p.m. The board set a public hearing regarding that ordinance to be held at City Hall before that meeting at 5:30 p.m.
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In other business, the board:
•Awarded the city’s annual mowing bid to Fresh Cut Lawn Care for $85 per mowing as needed. The only other bid was from Pritchard Lawn Care for $125 per mowing.
•Heard citizen Howell Todd point out the need for a back-up battery on the city’s tornado siren, particularly after Thursday night’s tornado just north of Clarksburg in the Dollar Hill area cut power to the siren. During discussion it was pointed out that it really wouldn’t have made a difference in that case because the National Weather Service didn’t issue the tornado warning until after the tornado had already gone through. The mayor said he would look into the matter.