Process to legalize sale of alcohol in Poplarville is currently in the worksPublished 7:10am Friday, January 17, 2014
A petition containing “the signatures of not less that 20 percent of the qualified voters of the city requesting the calling of an election” on the issue of selling beer and light wine, must be presented before an election can be held, said Martin Smith, the Poplarville Board of Alderman attorney.
Circuit Clerk Vickie Hariel said the petition will be sent to the circuit court office for the signatures to be verified as qualified voters.
Hariel said the election management system is able to track the name of the signatures and keep a signature from being counted twice. She said she does not know how long the process of verifying the signatures will take because it depends on the number of signatures, legibility of the signatures, the number of pages and if the petition comes to the court during a time that conflicts with elections.
Martin said public notice of an election must be given within 30 days of the petition being filed with the city.
For the referendum to be passed, 51 percent must vote to approve the sale of beer and light wine, Martin said.
“Once the election has been held, the election commissioners would certify that amount of the votes,” Martin said.
The Board of Alderman would then adopt an ordinance stating that the referendum had passed or failed, Martin said.
“If it does pass, then they (Board of Alderman) would set about setting up an ordinance that would prescribe under what situations beer and light wine could be sold,” Martin said.
Martin said some conditions and limitations of selling beer and light wine could be “ a proper application shall be made and a permit or license obtained prior to such sales, no sales from a retail business unless 75 percent or more of revenue is derived from other than the sale of beer and light wines and where an inventory of food stuff and supporting fixtures of a value of $10,000 or more are maintained, no sales within 100 feet of any church, school, hospital, funeral home; no sale to, or possession by, anyone from under the age of 21 years; no sales allowed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. the next morning; no sales on Sunday, Christmas and election days; no open containers within the retail premises where sold; no sale of such products by a single can or bottle, but only by sale of not less than a six-pack case of beer or four pack case of wine; no sales from the place of business to a person or persons in an automobile or automobiles in the form of curb service; no open container or consumption upon
any street, sidewalk, city park, or other public property, nor within automobiles either parked or moving; no consumption in any restaurant or café, the primary business of which is the preparing and serving food for consumption upon the premises, unless served with such meal, and then only by such business who derives not less than 75 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of such food.”
If the sale of beer and light wine is not approved through the vote, an election on the issue cannot be held again for five years, Martin said.
Mayor Brad Necaise said he would like to hold a town hall meeting if the issue is approved through public vote so that residents of the city can have input on the rules and regulations of selling beer and light wine.