Sunday traffic in Brookport might increase in just a few weeks, thanks to the City of Brookport aldermen passing an amendment to their ordinance adopting rules and regulations governing the sale, distribution and consumption of alcoholic liquor.
A special called meeting was held Sept. 26 where this proposal was presented to council. Discussion was held regarding the need to change the ordinance.
Not only was the Sunday allowance changed, but the requirement that the person needed to be a city resident was rescinded.
Discussion also followed about extending hours of operation to 1 a.m. and increasing the number of available licenses for future growth.
Much of the argument for the ordinance change was economic. Increased tax revenue is always needed, and it was thought a successful business would attract other businesses.
Opposition touched on the moral issue of alcohol but also about changing the character of the town.
Alderman Larry Call, who has lived all over the country and in other nations, contends “alcohol is a substance, not a religious issue — drunkenness is forbidden. I am concerned that this will change the character of the community so I opposed the amendment.” Alderman Donnie Hogue, who also opposed the amendment, felt it would move the city in the “wrong direction.”
During the regular scheduled city council meeting two weeks later, on Oct. 8, the amended ordinance was passed. The vote was 4 to 2 in favor of the changes. There were no public comments for or against the amendment during the public session.
Illinois State Law allows cities and municipalities to set the hours and type licenses regarding the sale of liquor. The state prohibits licenses to businesses that reside within 100 feet of a school, church, hospital, daycare, library or nursing home.
Jim Wilkins, a former Brookport resident, researched a business opportunity and found that with the traffic coming through Brookport and other factors, the property on U.S. 45 at the foot of the bridge would be a good site to make a business investment.
Wilkins would like to open a pizza delivery operation and also be able to sell packaged beer. That required an amendment to the liquor ordinance since the former ordinance did not allow sale of alcohol on Sunday when Wilkins would also like to be open. Wilkins hopes to have the business open by Thanksgiving.