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Residents of the city of Dalton who want to indulge in an adult beverage won't have to leave their homes after the City Council passed an ordinance that changed its liquor license laws allowing liquor stores to deliver alcohol.

The move by the council, which was a 4-0 vote at Monday's meeting, is seen as a business-friendly move to alleviate some of the constraints that local stores have been under during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, certain businesses were forced to close due to Gov. Brian Kemp's executive orders as cases started to spread in Georgia. Although grocery and liquor stores stayed open, those businesses saw less foot traffic and grocery stores were able to adapt by offering curbside pickup.

Later in the year, Kemp signed a bill in August that allowed stores to deliver alcohol, similar to a bill that was signed in Tennessee. The city of Dalton is now taking advantage of that bill.

There are some caveats in the ordinance change. Businesses that hold city alcoholic beverage licenses will be allowed to deliver alcoholic beverages only to people within Dalton city limits. Customers who want beverages delivered must set up a delivery account with a business before ordering.

Businesses that don't sell packaged beer, wine or spirits — like a brewery or distillery that doesn't package its product — are not allowed to deliver. Businesses can also contract with third-party vendors like Grub Hub and Door Dash to deliver the beverages.

A retail delivery license and a package delivery license will each cost $500.

Bruce Fraizer, communications director with the city of Dalton, said all 115 businesses that have a license with the city will be eligible to opt in to the delivery service.

"The City Clerk's Office hopes to have this rolled out sometime in mid-January," Fraizer said. "They'll be contacting all of our current alcoholic beverage licensees to let them know what they'll need to do and then work with them to get the licenses approved by our Public Safety Commission."

For more information, call the city clerk's office at 706-278-6006.

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

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