Fort Oglethorpe amends city alcohol rules

Fort Oglethorpe amends city alcohol rules

January 10th, 2012 by Naomi Jagoda in News

David Hilleke pulls draft beer for customer Paul Lundberg Monday at Beverage World in Fort Oglethorpe. The business is seeking approval that would allow people to sample small amounts of beer before they buy.

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

Ron Goulart, Fort Oglethorpe city manager

Photo by Beverly A. Carroll

The Fort Oglethorpe City Council voted to make several amendments to the city's alcohol ordinances, including one that allows customers to sample beer and wine before buying carry-out items in a sealed container.

Under the change, consumers can drink up to three one-ounce samples of beer and wine in a 24-hour period, City Manager Ron Goulart said.

Sam Kubilus -- assistant manager of Beverage World, the only store to which the change applies -- was pleased the change passed.

"We're very excited," he said.

The store's operators hope to apply for and obtain a license to sell samples as soon as possible, Kubilus said.

The three City Council members who were present and eligible to vote -- Earl Gray, Charles Sharrock and Eddie Stinnett -- voted in favor of the amendments to the ordinance. A fourth member, Johnnie Smith, could not vote because he was appointed chairman since the city's mayor and mayor pro tem were not present.

Smith said during the comments section of the meeting that he thought he was set up because he couldn't vote and he opposed the measure. He thought the old alcohol ordinance was fine and didn't need to be changed.

Other members of the council rebuffed the notion that Smith was designated the chairman at the meeting so he couldn't vote on the matter.

"Mr. Smith, nobody sets you up," Sharrock said.

Stinnett said that he voted for Smith to preside because he was the most senior member on the council. If anyone set him up, it was the mayor and the mayor pro tem, he said.

Other changes to the alcohol ordinances passed eliminate questions on the initial and renewal permit applications that ask for information about applicants' spouses and children and allow businesses to renew their alcohol permits without having to appear before the beer board if police sign off on their application.

Contact staff writer Naomi Jagoda at 423-757-6476 or njagoda@timesfree press.com.