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Quincy city officials OK alcohol sales on Sunday

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By Alice Du Pont

The Quincy city commission voted Tuesday night to pass an ordinance, on first reading, that would allow the sale of alcohol on Sunday. The ordinance would also limit the location of package stores to U.S. Highway 90 and State Road 267. Current liquor store owners would be given 5 years to relocate.

Jack McLean, city manager, said the liquor stores affected are located in South Adams, Crawford and Flagler streets. He said the ordinance is also an attempt to get liquor stores and establishments that sell alcohol out of neighborhoods.

According to the ordinance, alcoholic beverages can be sold, consumed, served or permitted to be served in any place in the city holding a license under the state beverage law between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. from Monday through Saturday, except all package sales must stop at midnight on Saturday. Alcoholic beverages may be sold by package stores and other alcoholic beverage vendors from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Alcoholic beverages may be sold, serve and consumed on the premises of a bona fide restaurant between the hours of 11 a.m. and midnight on Sunday and 2 a.m. the following Monday if that Sunday falls on New Year's Eve.

The ordinance, according to McLean, will promote growth in the central downtown business district and would attract restaurants that serve alcohol.

"It's a sad day when the only way to stimulate growth downtown is through the sale of alcohol," said Commissioner Derrick Elias, who voted against the ordinance.

In other business, the Gadsden County Health Council asked the city to donate an acre of land to be used as a baby cemetery at Sunnyvale Cemetery. Curtis Richardson said there are babies in the county who have been kept at funeral homes because parents did not have the money to pay for burial.

Shannon Moulton, of DaVita Dialysis, said the company would pay to erect a monument on the site that would be paid for by a grant funded through the company.

Commissioners recommended that staff research the possibility of deeding 25 lots, which would accommodate 200 graves for babies. Lots at Sunnyvale sell for $500 each.

Commissioners also voted to:

• Table a youth protection ordinance which would allow for a curfew for youth 16 and younger.

• Table an agreement with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to begin the 2-year process to monitor the Quincy Police Department as the first step toward accreditation.

• Establish a junior code enforcement board that would employ 20 youth this summer. Each commissioner will select four school-age youth from their district to work 1 month each in June and July. The youth will work directly with code enforcement officers after classroom training hours have been completed.

• Send students back to their home school during the afternoon when there are no supervised recreation programs and the recreation center.