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Liquor, Beer Ordinances Get First Reading

By Staff | Nov 27, 2015

The Rugby City Council gave a first reading of new liquor and beer ordinances at a special meeting Monday evening.

Ordinance No. 398 and Ordinance No. 399 are slated to change the city’s municipal code regarding sales and licensing of beer and liquor/wine, respectively.

City Attorney Bill Hartl questioned why the phrase “having a bona fide residence in and being a citizen of North Dakota” was stricken from sections 8.04.040 and 8.04.160 of the beer ordinance and from sections 8.08.090 and 8.08.170 of the wine/liquor ordinance. Hartl said a concern of his was a non-resident of North Dakota buying a liquor license and not using it. Ward 2 Councilman Gary Kraft asked if proof of residency would be needed for persons requesting liquor licenses. Hartl said that the city could require it.

Kraft and the council discussed changes made to special events permits. One change made to the policy was the chief of police’s written approval needed to be on issued permits and the chief reporting to the council on permits allowed and denied on a monthly basis.

The ordinances redefine the types of licenses available and fees for each. Class A licenses are for clubs and lodges for on-sale (consumption on premises) liquor and beer and cost a $200 per year fee. Class B licenses are for package stores for off-sale (off-premises consumption) liquor and beer and cost a $250 per year fee. Class C licenses are for retail liquor and beer for on and off-sale at a $1,100 per year fee. Class D licenses are for hotels and motels for on and off-sale beer and liquor at a $1,100 per year fee. Class E licenses are for restaurants for on-sale beer and wine at a $200 per year fee. Class F licenses are for restaurants for on-sale liquor at a $400 per year fee.

The ordinances redefine hours and times of liquor and beer sales. Licensed establishments cannot sell, serve, or permit to sell, serve or consume alcoholic beverages after 1 a.m. Sundays, except as allowed under special events permits; before 8 a.m. on Mondays, between 1 and 8 a.m. other days of the week, after 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, or after 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. After those times, the only persons who can remain on-site are the licensee and employees, independent contractors working on the premises and persons on a special events permit.

The ordinances provide exceptions for persons under 21 in establishments selling beer and liquor. Persons under 21 can be in the establishment if the restaurant and bar parts are separated and if sales of food are equal to or greater than alcohol sales; if they’re waiters/waitresses/busboys/busgirls who don’t serve alcoholic beverages or are supervised by someone 21 or older; if they’re independent contractors/employees of the contractor engaged in contract work and not selling/serving/consuming; or if they’re on-duty law enforcement officers.

A second reading of the ordinances will take place during the council’s regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Ward 3 Councilman Jim Hoffert was absent.

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