The Cave Spring City Council is expected to get an updated version Tuesday of the changes they plan to make to the city’s alcohol control ordinance.

Board members have been working on a comprehensive revision since voters approved in March the sale of liquor – by the drink, by the package and on Sundays – within the city limits. They’re using the city of Rome’s ordinance as a template but tailoring it for their historic small town.

City Attorney Frank Beacham said at the close of a work session last week that he would have a draft of the changes he’s been directed to incorporate so far.

“It is your intention to allow liquor by the drink at restaurants, distillery tasting rooms, farm wineries, malt beverage tap rooms, hotels, private clubs and retail establishments approved by the City Council – but not at bars or sham establishments,” Beacham said in summary, to nods from the board members.

Service in hotels and motels would be limited to operations with 50 or more rooms.

“We don’t have one, and we don’t expect one, but put it in there,” said Sandra Lindsey, director of the Downtown Development Authority.

Council members have firmed up details for some of the planned restrictions. For example, package liquor stores will have to be located at least a half-mile from the city center, the southwest corner of Cave Spring Road and Alabama Street. Tentative limits will be at least 500 yards from another package store and 150 yards from a residence.

“We don’t want to have a liquor store next to somebody’s house,” Council member Joyce Mink said.

Sales by the drink are slated to be treated differently. The March vote was prompted by a proposal from two investors who want to open a craft distillery in a rehabilitated historic building downtown – using water from the city’s famed spring.

The Cave Spring Distilling Co. will be marketed as a tourist destination, with tours, a tasting room and onsite sales. It could open as early as this fall.

Council members are scheduled to start their regular meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 10 Georgia Ave.

In addition to hearing the monthly departmental reports, a dedication ceremony is scheduled to officially name the council chamber in honor of Mike Ragland. The iconic author, local historian and former city council member died suddenly on March 16 as he was leaving a book-signing event at Welshfest in Rockmart.

The council also is expected to approve a leave of absence for Mayor Dennis Shoaf, who has been battling an illness following an earlier heart attack.

Council member Tom Lindsey has been serving as mayor pro tem. He said the city’s charter allows members to miss only four meetings without action being taken. The leave will give Shoaf additional time to recover.

A request for a beer and wine package sales permit for Mike Mawjiessa at the Town Square Coastal convenience store also is expected to be approved.

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