Anna Council reviews liquor ordinances Sunday liquor sales to be considered

The Anna City Council is reviewing proposed streamlining and simplification of municipal liquor ordinances.

Action being considered by city officials could lead to the end of a longstanding prohibition of liquor sales on Sunday in the Union County community.

The issue was addressed at last week's regular meeting of the city council. The meeting was Tuesday evening, Dec. 6, at Anna City Hall.

City adminstrator Steve Guined said the matter is slated to be on the council's agenda when it meets again next week. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, at city hall.

Guined said that he and city clerk Chris Jones had worked for several months to prepare information that could be reviewed by council members.

Guined explained that the city council is focusing on issues which include:

•Hours of operation for businesses which sell alcohol.

•The various classi-fications of municipal liquor licenses.

•Whether or not events which offer alcohol (such as beer and wine) should be allowed on city property.

•The number of licenses which are issued.

Guined explained that Anna Mayor Jim Cross also serves as the city's liquor commissioner.

In that role, Cross had been approached by business people, people in the community and council members about issues which included Sunday sale of alcohol and the possibility of having events in the city which feature wine.

The Union County area has become a major producer of wine in recent years. A successful wine festival is held in Cobden. Such events are seen as a boost for the local economy and tourism efforts.

Current ordinances regulating alcohol sales in Anna have been in place since the late 1980s, Guined said. Changes have been made to the ordinances over the years, creating a complicated system which city officials see in need of change.

The city currently has about half a dozen ordinances and resolutions in place. The city also has 26 kinds of liquor licenses.

The city council is hoping to have a new ordinance drafted by January or early February of 2012.

City officials realize that  the sale of alcohol on Sundays could spur a lot of discussion, as could the possibility of alcohol being available on municipally owned property.

Even if Sunday sales become a reality, it's likely that they would not begin until noon.

Mayor Jim Cross said at the meeting that he sees Sunday sales as a "very hard decision." However, he said the council needs to "look at what's best for the city" in terms of a possible boost in revenue.


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