alcohol at events

A Sip N Stroll wine-tasting event in Laurens, which was called “successful,” was among the tipping points used by supporters of similar events in Clinton as a means for the Clinton City Council to adopt a new Special Events Ordinance.

The ordinance was adopted on 2nd and final reading unanimously by the Clinton City Council. If a beer-wine vendor applies for a permit, the first event in Clinton with a “beer garden” could be the May 18-19 Rhythm on the Rails.

Twelve people spoke Monday night to the city council in favor of the special events ordinance, suggested by the state’s Main Street organization. Six people spoke in opposition. In an unrelated matter, two people asked the council to move ahead on a previously announced community center project at the former Martha Dendy School, which has a closed, outdoor swimming pool.

Arguments for the special events ordinance, which allows alcohol sales for the first time, included “moving Clinton into the 21st Century.” Some opponents said they were “ashamed” of the city council members for opening Clinton up to street-side alcohol sales and consumption. City officials said previously that the measure is not “an alcohol ordinance.”

It also governs how the city can move vehicles off main streets for festivals and outlaws fireworks in festival venues. Comments about the alcohol sales portion of the Clinton City Council’s regular monthly meeting lasted an hour of the 2 1/2-hour meeting.

Council met earlier in executive session to discuss its power purchasing agreement with PMPA. Council met during its regular meeting in executive session to discuss potential water purchases from LCWSC’s Lake Greenwood Water Plant and “Project Zip.” Members committed $35,000 to a water purchase study contract.

The Clinton council also recognized the State Champion teams from Clinton Middle and Clinton High Schools for the Science Olympiad and designated $5,000 toward their travel expenses next week to Colorado for Nationals. The money will come from the city’s community assistance fund.

Council members approved on the first of two readings a $29,996,175 city budget that increases property taxes 2.2 mils and uses 29% of Local Option Sales Tax Revenue (pays for Public Safety equipment).