The Brazil City Council unanimously approved a special resolution to encourage the elimination of alcohol sales at gas stations and convenience stores during a regular session Tuesday evening.
Third Ward Councilwoman Ann Bradshaw sponsored Resolution 3-2005, which urges the Indiana General Assembly, State of Indiana, Alcohol and Tobacco Commission and the Alcoholic Beverage Board of Clay County to stop the proliferation of alcohol outlets commonly referred to as gas stations and convenience stores.
While the Council's vote was unanimous, Councilman Bill Lovett voted against the resolution at its first reading. He explained that while he doesn't want to make alcoholic beverages more accessible to minors, the Council must also consider the rights of these businesses that have the same responsibilities and rights as grocery stores that sell alcoholic beverages. He emphasized consistency in regulations for retailers.
The resolution says the City Council believes a local policy prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages at gas stations and convenience stores is essential to preserving and fostering strong neighborhoods, and cites gas stations and convenience stores as the least regulated points of alcohol sales. The document also indicates the Council believes that the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission and the Clay County Alcoholic Beverage Board should adopt policies prohibiting the sales of alcohol in gas stations and convenience stores. It says the Council asks the Indiana General Assembly to address this issue by defining the term grocery store in a manner consistent with common sense, and in a way that would stop the proliferation of gas stations and convenience stores.
Regardless of the Council's vote, the decision does not change existing regulations. It merely expresses the collective view of the members.
"This goes to the General Assembly," Bradshaw said after the vote. "This is in their hands."
The Brazil City Council regularly meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Meetings are conducted in Council Chambers at City Hall and are open to the public.