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Springfield adopts liquor by the drink ordinance
Council members also offer support for Olde Effingham Days
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The Springfield City Council approved an ordinance to issue permits to restaurants to sell liquor by the drink.

Council member Kenny Usher said the ordinance includes liquor, beer and wine sales.

“There’s so much wording in both that some of it contradicted itself, some of it was repetitive, I think that will be good,” he said. “If things still need tiding up later, we can still amend it.”

The ordinance mandates a minimum of 50 percent food and non-alcoholic beverage sales for permit holders.

The penalties for violating the ordinance will include for first offense a $1,000 fine, second offense within a 24 month period a $1,000 fine and a minimum 30-day suspension of the license, third offense in 24 months a $1,000 fine and a minimum 90-day suspension of the license and on the fourth offense a $1,000 fine.

On the fourth violation the council will consider revocation of the license. If the license is not revoked there will be a minimum 180-day suspension of the license.

The council unanimously approved the decision and set the fees including:
Application fee $250
Renewal fee $50

License fees
Consumption off-premises (malt beverages and wine) $1,000
Consumption on-premises (malt beverages and wine) $1,000
Consumption on-premises (distilled spirits) $2,000
Wholesale license $1,000
Mixed drink tax 3 percent
Late penalty of mixed drink tax 15 percent plus one percent per month on tax not paid. Minimum late penalty is $25.

Each offense $1,000

Rincon City Council and Effingham County commissioners are still working on their liquor by the drink provisions.

Council members also approved donating funds to support Olde Effingham Days, which is scheduled for April 18 and 19.

Wanda Price appeared on behalf of the Olde Effingham Days festival committee, and thanked the council for its support in previous years.

A street dance will be held that Friday evening and festivities will resume Saturday at 10 a.m. A performance by the Swinging Medallions will close the event.

“The event this year will be held in the heart of Effingham, your beautiful City of Springfield on the courthouse square,” Price said.

Price said the event is an opportunity for residents of the area to come together for good fun, entertainment, food and an opportunity to learn more about the history of Effingham County.

“However, in order to do this, we need the support of all the cities and the county,” she said.

Price said last year the city gave “a gracious donation” in the amount of $1,000. She asked the council members to consider giving the same amount for the event or more.

“However, Connie (Burns) said to let you know we take anything you give us,” Price said.

Usher believed there was enough in the events budget to donate at least the same amount as last year.

“It’s a shot in the arm of Springfield,” he said. “It’s a total winner for this city what’s going on down there. I’m not sure $1,000 is enough, but I’d say that’s the minimum.”

Council member Butch Kieffer said he would like to see the city donate more than $1,000 this year.

The council approved donating a minimum of $1,000 to the festival with the possibility of donating more with the approval of the city manager.

Members also approved a new contract for residential curbside trash pickup with Waste Management.

The council increased fees for garbage pick up to $16.

City Manager Brett Bennett said the increase results from the city currently charging less than the cost for garbage pickup, and the increase is enough to prevent a need to increase the fees again within the next year.

Members approved the purchase of two automatic external defibrillators for the fire department. Fire Chief Edwin Rahn Jr. said the number one cause of death of firefighters is heart attack.

“Typically you don’t put an AED on a fire truck for the community use — you’re putting them on the truck for the firefighters’ use,” he said.