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Watertown finalizes alcohol plans

Jared Felkins • Updated Jul 20, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The Watertown City Council passed the final two ordinances that deal with alcohol sales Tuesday evening, but the plans may still not be finished. 

The council approved, on a 4-3 vote, to remove the phrase, “any public library,” from a list of places such as churches and schools near where alcohol would be allowed to be sold. Mayor Mike Jennings and aldermen Kristie Cantrell and Brandy Holcomb voted against the measure. 

 “I would hate to look up one day and see a bar next to the library…” Jennings said. “But this is the law of the land now in Watertown.”

Jennings said later in the meeting he’s unsure whether he will veto the ordinance, which he has 10 days to do so. A veto would require ¾ of the council to approve it again. 

“I’m not saying I’m going to [veto it], but I am going to give it some thought,” Jennings said. 

Alderman Katie Smith, who originally brought up the idea to remove public library from the list, said it had to do with business on the square, which is where the Watertown Public Library is located. 

“I would hate to limit that,” Smith said. “We’ve worked hard to get businesses in here.”

The council approved, on a 6-1 vote, a second alcohol ordinance Tuesday regarding beer sales in restaurants. The council agreed the beer sales ordinance would effectively mirror a liquor sales ordinance previously passed, but on the condition it would go into effect when the beer sales ordinance was approved. Jennings voted against it. 

In other business, the council approved an outstanding liquor store application for Daniel’s Beer and Market, which was deferred last month so the council could hear from Assistant police Chief Joe Hall regarding complaints made against the store. Hall said there were some general complaints. The council approved the application on a 4-3 vote. 

The council agreed to close an alley on Walnut Street to Central Avenue at the request of a developer who wants to develop homes on the adjacent property. 

The council also adopted a resolution regarding “A Day of Prayer for Our Schools,” at the request of the Lebanon Kiwanis Club. 

Watertown volunteer fire Chief John Jewell gave a section of property behind the Watertown pavilion and near the train tracks to the city upon receipt of the deed. The property, which was used in the past for various community events, belonged to Jewell’s late parents, Albert and Opal Jewell. Once the property changes ownership, Jennings said he’d like to see a plaque placed there in honor of the Jewells. 

“That is a tremendous gift,” Smith said. “That is great. It highlights, for everyone who drives by, what’s going on. We are really grateful.”

The council will next meet Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. at the community center.

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