Pascagoula may allow alcohol on city property

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula's ban on selling, possessing and drinking alcohol on city property could soon change. City Council members are thinking of ways to tweak the law after several citizens complained about the restrictions.

Pat Haynes is the store manager at Liquors Unlimited in Pascagoula. She said business has been steady, but feels more customers would pour in here if there wasn't such a tough city wide alcoholic beverage ordinance.

"I believe you can lose business when another area will offer it and we don't," Haynes said.

Tuesday night, the Pascagoula council re-examined the ordinance. Right now, alcohol is prohibited at Pascagoula's parks, beaches, offices or any other city owned land.

"Why would a person want to do business in the city of Pascagoula and he can't have alcohol at his place?" Councilman Robert Stallworth asked. "What if people want to have a special occasion, like the women with the wine and cheese and the beer and crawfish?"

Councilman Jim Milstead said, "I don't think we are encouraging the right kind of behavior by allowing this, and I am totally opposed to opening city parks to alcoholic beverages."

After much discussion about how to tweak the law, the proposal on the table now is anyone who wants to drink, sell, or poses alcohol on the Pascagoula property would have to get permission from the council.

"All this is a permit process," Councilman Frank Corder said. "Should someone should have an event, have business on property that the city owns to lease from us, this gives them a process by which we can permit that."

Council members said alcohol would still be banned at Beach and I.G. Levy Parks. The council will vote on the revision to the alcohol ordinance at its December 7th meeting.

If this updated ordinance is passed next week, it will not go into effect until next year. Officials said during that time they will also add specific guidelines for people requesting to bring alcohol on city property.

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