Council proposal on bar, club hours up for 2nd reading

An ordinance dealing with the hours of operation and sale of alcoholic beverages at commercial establishments and private clubs in Pine Bluff is scheduled for its second reading when the Pine Bluff City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

While state law and regulations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board establish lawful hours for serving and consuming alcoholic beverages, the ordinance says “some have elected to remain open after the time period,” and “it is the city’s intent by this ordinance to invoke its full statutory authority under all provisions of the Arkansas Constitution to regulate the hours of operation of commercial establishments and private clubs which permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises.”

Also scheduled for a second reading is a proposed ordinance that would establish a 4 percent city tax on the gross wages of department heads who do not live within the city limits and who are hired on or after An. 1, 2014.

Alderman Steven Mays, who proposed the ordinance, is calling it a “community friendly privilege fee” and said the funds collected would be used “for the promotion of youth employment and the prevention of juvenile crime and delinquency among 13- to 18-year-olds.”

An ordinance prohibiting the sale of perishable fruits or vegetables at any location except the Saracen Landing Farmer’s Market is also scheduled for a second reading Monday.

Proposed by Mayor Debe Hollingsworth, the measure would prevent the establishment of what the ordinance calls “roadside produce stands.”

Also on the agenda Monday are resolutions re-appointing Edward Long, Joe Clement and Gordon Reese to the Pine Bluff Planning Commission. If approved, Long’s term would expire June 1, 2014, while the terms of Clement and Reese would expire June 1, 2016.

A resolution declaring certain houses, buildings and/or structures as nuisances and ordering their abatement is also scheduled for consideration.