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Changes on tap
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 Members of the Porterdale City Council and those in attendance on Monday waited patiently for 59 minutes to hear the final reading of the newly adopted liquor ordinance.

 Less than 30 seconds after city attorney Tim Chambers set the document on the table, the council passed the liquor ordinance into law with a unanimous vote, except for Councilwoman Kay Piper who did not attend the meeting.

 Council members had been working on the ordinance extensively during the past few work sessions and Monday's decision gives business owners one more way to draw customers and generate revenue.

 Under the new ordinance, applicants are required to file licenses through the city clerk and pay a fee of $145 plus $24 for a background check.

According to Arline Chapman, the council worked hard with the Covington/Newton County Chamber to draft one resolution that would fit all businesses and deter any clubs involved in nudity or sexual behavior.

"It gives business the ability to serve wine, beer and spirits, but also protects Porterdale residents," Chapman said. "We want to promote economic growth, but we don't want those types of places."

Applicants are required to advertise in the community newspapers for two consecutive weeks before the council holds a public hearing.

The fee to obtain a state distilled spirits license stands at $2,500, half of which is due at the time of application and the remaining to be paid by March 1 the following year.

Establishments granted a license can sell so on the sidewalks and outdoors so long as paying customers are seated and under the attention of wait staff.

Under the ordinance, last call must be at or before 1:45 a.m. and tables must be cleared by 2:15 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Businesses can sell distilled spirits from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., Monday through Thursday.