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Decatur City Council OKs expanded Sunday morning liquor sales

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When Illinois enters phase five Friday it will be the first time in more than a year that there are no limitations on the size of gatherings and most public activities.

Sunday mornings just got a bit less dry.

The Decatur City Council voted Monday to amend the city’s liquor code to allow alcohol sales on Sundays between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., ending a restriction that city staff said put city businesses at a competitive disadvantage with surrounding communities.

The ordinance makes the city’s liquor sales limits uniform, with the practice now restricted between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. every day of the week.

During the summer months, a benefit would be allowing residents planning to spend a day boating on Lake Decatur to purchase their alcohol in the morning, said Assistant City Manager Jon Kindseth.

“So this allows them to basically, as they're gassing up their boat and getting ready to go out on the lake on Sunday morning, to get their liquor at the same time,” Kindseth said. “So it's really recognizing that fewer and fewer cities are trying to regulate the morals of the community, if I can say it that way, and just say ‘if you want to buy beer at six o'clock on a Sunday morning, that's up to you.’”

The ordinance also makes a couple other changes:

  • A Class K liquor license, which allows wine and beer sales in movie theatres, is now open to any type of the theatre in downtown Decatur. Essentially, this would allow for the Lincoln Square Theater to sell beer and wine during performances.
  • Class L liquor license holders would be able to sell liquor for on-premises consumption. This would allow downtown retail businesses such as Murphy & Co. to offer beer and wine during their cooking classes.
  • The Class O liquor license, which is the designation for craft breweries, is extended to include distilleries.

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Kindseth said city staff is working on a larger overhaul of the liquor code, which has many more categories than a typical city.

Watch now: Legislature OKs steps for Brush College Road, Faries Parkway projects

Council reverses course on door

The council voted 6-0 to approve a $68,400 contract with Bloomington-based Felmley-Dickerson Company for the replacement of two overhead doors at Fire Station No. 2, 2707 E. William St.

It’s a reversal from three weeks ago, when the council voted to reject the contract over concerns about the bidding process.

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City staff choose the company, the second-lowest bidder, over low-bidder Decatur-based Christy-Foltz due to the latter's inability to meet the city's Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) requirements.

However, there was ambiguity expressed by city staff at the last meeting that left lingering questions as to whether a good-faith effort was made by Christy-Foltz.

City Manager Scot Wrighton clarified in a memo sent to council members late last week.

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"I do not believe Christy-Foltz met the requirements of the MBE ordinance, but felt it was important to apprise the City Council of their bid," Wrighton wrote. 

Council members urged Wrighton and city staff to work more closely with local contractors to ensure they were aware of the MBE bidding requirements. 

Mask mandate update

The council voted to updated the city's mask mandate to comply with relaxed CDC and state of Illinois guidelines. 

The state, in conjunction with CDC guidelines, said in mid-May that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to where masks in public. 

But Monday was the first council meeting since it happened.

Though it was still on the books, Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe said the city has not actively enforced the mandate since the update. 

24 reasons why the Decatur region is special

This collection was inspired by our our project, "100 reasons to love the Decatur area,” which each day looked at a different person, place or thing that's special about the region. 

As we exit COVID, let's reconnect with what we miss. 


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