Carbondale City Council to vote on alcohol code

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - A vote by the Carbondale City Council could change the way people in town buy alcohol, by changing where they can buy it.

To buy packaged beer, wine or liquor in Carbondale you must stop by one of the several liquor stores in town.  But if the city council votes to amend the current alcohol code, that could all change.

It's a change Carbondale resident Stephen Williams would like to see council members approve.

"I've seen petitions around at grocery stores and what not and I've signed them, cause I'm in favor of free enterprise and competition," Williams said.

Before the city council are several possible changes to the current alcohol code. If approved, a cap on retail liquor licenses would be eliminated. That means big stores like Schnucks and Korger could compete with smaller liquor stores to sell you a drink.

But one co-owner of Illinois Liquor Mart says it will hurt business and mean a loss of jobs.

"We're not scared of competition," Wendy McClanahan said. "Competition can be healthy, but leave the ordinances like they are."

The council will also take up where alcohol can be sold. If given approved alcohol could be sold at gas stations and in the south part of the city limits. Under the current code on the books both are not allowed.

All changes, which Williams says, would benefit shoppers.

"I go to the grocery store three times a week," Williams said. "So if I know that I'm playing gold the next day and need a six pack, I can get it right there."

If the city council approves the proposed changes, it still could be months before you will see alcohol at your local grocery store. City Manager Allen Gill says those who want to sell booze will still have to apply for a liquor license, which can take some time.

The Carbondale City Council is expected to take up alcohol code at Tuesday night's meeting.

Copyright 2010 KFVS. All rights reserved.