McMinnville officials are scheduled to take a final vote this Tuesday to remove the 300-foot distance requirement between churches, schools and establishments that sell beer.
On the regular session agenda is an ordinance to change city code by deleting “no sale or distribution of beer shall be at places within 300 feet of any school, public or private, kindergarten or church.” This is the second and final reading.
The controversial issue has endured more than its share of ups and downs since it first came up for consideration last September when then-Alderman Rick Barnes motioned to strike the sentence from the city’s existing policy.
What brought the issue in front of the board was a recommendation from the Alcoholic Beverage Board, also called the Beer Board, to make one of two changes to the policy: take away the church distance requirement for the sale of beer, or define a church as “an entity which has been designed by the IRS as a 501(c)3 church.”
After initially passing 4-3, the measure failed on second read 4-3 when Mayor Jimmy Haley changed his vote.
The measure was brought back before the city board last month. It passed 5-2. Voting in favor of removing the restriction were Haley, Vice Mayor Ben Newman and Aldermen Ryle Chastain, Everett Brock and Steve Harvey. Aldermen Jimmy Bonner and Mike Neal voted to keep the distance restriction.
If the measure passes Tuesday night, the sentence will be removed. Meetings are held on the second floor of City Hall and begin at 7 p.m.