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Covington takes step towards alcohol ordinance changes
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The Covington City Council unanimously agreed to move forward with allowing its city attorney and planning and zoning director work towards creating new sections in the city’s alcohol ordinance which could allow for brown-bagging and hospitality drinks.

The ordinance, once drafted and approved, could allow city businesses to offer customers a glass of champagne while shopping or a glass of wine while getting their hair done as a hospitality drink. The ordinance, once drafted and approved, could also allow for certain businesses to allow customers to bring in a bottle of wine or beer for an event, also known as brown-bagging.

City Attorney Frank Turner and Planning & Zoning Director Scott Gaither have been tasked with creating the draft ordinance. Once drafted, it will go through two readings by the Covington City Council where changes can be made before it is approved.

Turner said there are things the city needs to consider when reviewing the ordinances, including setting limitations on the amount of allowed alcohol and whether it should be city-wide or limited to the downtown area.

The discussion for ordinance creation started after businesses on the square were cited for offering hospitality drinks. Gaither said since the ordinance does not currently allow for hospitality drinks or brown-bagging, it is prohibited.

Debbie Harper, interim main street director, said several surrounding cities allow for hospitality drink and brown-bagging and the addition of the new ordinances would help the city remain competitive.