A suggestion by the Town of Alexandria Beer Board to allow restaurants the opportunity to apply for a permit to serve beer by the drink has given cause for concern among many residents there.
Several citizens attended Tuesday night's monthly meeting of the Alexandria Board of Mayor and Aldermen to speak out against the proposal.
Mayor Tony Tarpley said the beer board, which is made up of the town's aldermen, met recently in a workshop to discuss the idea. "The beer board met and made a suggestion to the city council to make an amendment to the beer permit ordinance where if it was a restaurant that applied for a permit that they could sell beer by the drink on the premises," he said.
The town already allows eligible stores to be permitted to sell packaged beer for off premises consumption.
City Attorney Vester Parsley explained that no permits could be issued for beer by the drink in restaurants unless the aldermen were to vote to amend the current beer ordinance, which would require two readings at city council meetings and a public hearing.
Thurman Seber, a local minister, was among those who spoke in opposition. Seber said if beer by the drink were approved it would eventually lead to a push for liquor. In fact, Seber said he has learned that a petition either is or will be circulated seeking signatures calling for a referendum on liquor sales in Alexandria.
Others who expressed their opposition were David Cripps, Robert Walker, Mark Willoughby, Danny Parkerson, Stein Prichard, Jimmy Arms, and Peggy Leach.
Both Mayor Tarpley and Alderman Matt Boss said they too are opposed to any effort to allow beer by the drink in Alexandria.
The aldermen took no action Tuesday night.