City could implement ordinance for open carry of beverages during special events

Apr. 13—The city of Richmond is hoping to establish an Entertainment Destination Center (EDC) along with the Alcohol and Beverage Control Department which would allow alcohol to be sold, and carried throughout certain common areas downtown.

If permitted, the passing of this ordinance would also allow patrons to leave the premises of certain bars with proper licenses and consume drinks in any EDC common area or at any other licensed premises within the EDC if permitted by the city during special events.

"This is another effort by the city to revitalize downtown; get businesses engaged in special events, and I think it is an opportunity for the private businesses to participate with the downtown events we hold," City Manager Rob Minerich said.

For example, if approved, the city envisions certain bars or areas with correct alcohol licensing would be able to allow these changes during special events, such as the Millstone Festival or Tasty Tuesday at Irvine McDowell.

The EDC boundary would consist of the majority of the downtown Richmond area, including a large portion of Main Street and surrounding side streets. From the north, the boundary extends past Irvine Street and follows parts of North Collins Street, North 1st Street, North 2nd Street. From the east, the boundary extends down North and South Collins Street, and parts of South Madison Avenue and University Drive. From the south, the boundary runs along parts of Water Street, and Crabbe Street. From the west, the boundary extends down Lancaster Avenue and Church Street.

A business that is located within the EDC and sells alcoholic beverages shall hold the necessary alcoholic beverage license or licenses for its premises.

A licensee within or adjacent to the EDC may sell alcoholic beverages from one or more non-permanent locations within any common area within the EDC if the licensee holds a supplemental bar license for each non-permanent location and the licensee holds written permission for these sales in accordance with this ordinance and in the manner required by the city.

The city manager said he had spoken with other city managers in areas such as Paducah and Owensboro who allow this ordinance to operate six days a week, 24-7.

"When we first went down this road, I was a bit concerned and talked to public safety and other city managers in other cities, and surprisingly enough, Owensboro with what they enacted, has not had any problems," he reported.

If enacted, when these events do happen, participating and eligible bars or facilities would have specialty cups for patrons to use inside the limits to distinguish the certain beverages.

Minerich said this was an additional effort by the city to help revitalize the downtown area.

"If you look at what we have done; we have repaired Water Street, established more parking, established a TIF district, created the Millstone Festival, this new entertainment district, ... we are hoping to get new street lights in new budget and also looking at contracting out work to get the sidewalks repaired," Minerich said. "We are stepping up to the plate to make downtown a place to be revitalized, but it has to be property owners who have to step up to the plate as well. We have to see these buildings renovated and see businesses go in them, but I think we are doing our part."

If passed, before the ordinance could take effect, the city would have to have approval from the state's ABC to proceed.

Commissioner Ed McDaniel asked if the city wanted to reconsider doing something like the city of Owensboro (where they allow this change all the time) would Richmond have to reapply.

City Attorney Tyler Frazier said they would not. The ordinance would just have to be amended to reflect the change, which would need to be done by the approval of the commission.

"This is another piece of the puzzle to revitalize downtown," said Minerich.

A vote on the ordinance will take place at the commission's next scheduled meeting.

Other business:

—Jennifer Franklin was recognized with the key to the city in her successful efforts to save someone's life with the use of Narcan and CPR after witnessing an accident on Big Hill Avenue.

—A Fair Housing Proclamation was read aloud recognizing the Fair Housing Month in the month of April. This is a joint proclamation with the Madison County Fiscal Court, the Berea City Council, and the Richmond Commission.

—Another proclamation was read aloud by the mayor which recognized National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week which is recognized throughout the week of April 10 through April 16.

—A zone change was approved for a property at 2031 Pace Ramsey Road for 9.07 acres going from highway business (B3) to multi-family residential (R3).

—Ordinance 22-11 was read aloud before the commission and approved and amends Ordinance 07-14 which established requirements for city tow operators. This new ordinance would change the rates for those who call tow companies. A standard tow cost would rise from $45 to $125. A dolly charge would also go from $25 to $50. Mileage, winching, tire changes, standby time, show-up fee, and storage fees for cars, pickups and motorcycles both inside and outside. Rates had not been updated since 2007 according to City Manager Rob Minerich who said these were rate adjustments to the current market.

—The city read aloud the first reading of an ordinance which would amend certain ordinances (14-18, 18-07 and 21-07) to modify the city's existing grades and salary ranges chart. The chart was condensed from 50 grades to 10 grades to provide for higher maximum salaries within pay grades.

—An ordinance was read aloud which amended and created a citizens board for public safety community relations. This will reestablish a Citizens Advisory Board for the city to study, review, and consult the city commission on community relations efforts. This board can also develop and make recommendations directed toward improving community relations with the city departments on issues pertaining to public safety.

—The city approved an order which would donate a fire truck and designate it as scrap to the Sutphen Corporation.

—Phillip Webb was hired as the assistant golf pro for the Gibson Bay Golf Course with a salary of $40,000 annually.

—Wes Browne and Brooke Bowman were re-appointed to the Richmond Ethics Board.

—An order was approved to authorize action under KRS 241.069 to request additional quota retail package licenses to commensurate with the population increase. With the release of the most recent Census, in efforts to adjust to population, the Richmond quota per capita measurement from one license per 2,300 citizens to one license per 1,800 citizens in consideration of the city's status in a dry county.

—Baylee Pharis was approved for hire as an employee for the Parks Administration Department as a full-time administrative assistant II.

—Brandon Jackson, the recycling director with the city's recycling department submitted his resignation to the commission who approved the measure.

—The city approved a resolution which affirmed the support from the Board of Commissioners for submission of the fiscal year 2023 Appropriations Community Project Funding Application to Congressman Andy Barr's office on behalf of the Richmond Public Safety and Industrial Development Access Road Project. The city expressed its full support for the requested $5.9 million, or a portion of the said requested funds, to be approved for the project.

—The city approved a telecommunications systems franchising ordinance which establishes a local policy concerning telecommunications providers and services, establishes clear local guidelines and standards, promotes competition in telecommunications, and encourages provisions of advanced and competitive services on the widest possible basis to the businesses, institutions and residents of the city to name a few.

—The city commissioners went into closed, executive session for personnel and potential litigation issues. Latasha Townsend of the Section 8 Department was suspended with pay until her court case is resolved.

The next city commission meeting is scheduled Tuesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. inside City Hall.