City council passes alcohol amendment

The Murray City Council approved an ordinance Thursday which will allow bars and taverns to be open until 1:30 a.m. instead of midnight.

The ordinance, proposed by Jason Pittman, passed at the most recent city council meeting in its second reading by a vote of 6-4. Pittman had previously moved to amend the city’s alcohol ordinance to extend bars and taverns operating hours at the Sept. 26 council meeting, where his proposition also passed.

The ordinance, which makes several other changes to the city’s current alcohol ordinance, met opposition at the meeting from Greg Taylor who moved to eliminate the section allowing bars and taverns to continue to sell alcohol and stay open past midnight. Taylor cited statistics on alcohol intoxication arrests in July, August and September.

Pittman argued that if bars could stay open later in Murray it would discourage patrons forced to leave at midnight from driving to Puryear, Tenn., to drink, where the bars and taverns are open until 3 a.m. He said he would like to evaluate the ordinance every 12-months and examine the DUI and AI numbers if passed.

Taylor’s amendment to the ordinance did not pass with a vote of 5-5 with Mayor Bill Wells breaking he tie with a no vote. The subsequent vote for the original, unamended ordinance then passed with votes from Pittman, Mike Faihst, Pat Scott, Pete Lancaster, Jane Shoemaker and Robert Billington Jr.

The ordinance will go into effect as soon as it is published.

Staff Report.