City updates code to reflect changes in state liquor law

From left, Ada City Manager Cody Holcomb speaks while Mayor Tre’ Landrum listens during Monday’s Ada City Council meeting. The council amended the city code to allow wine sales at grocery stores in neighborhood commercial zones.

Ada officials took steps Monday to bring city codes in line with changes to Oklahoma’s liquor laws.

The Ada City Council voted 4-0 to approve the change to a city ordinance which governs the property uses allowed in a neighborhood commercial district, or C-1. Councilman Ben McFarlane was absent.

Under the revised ordinance, convenience stores, grocery stores and supermarkets in neighborhood commercial districts will be allowed to sell wine as well as package beer, said City Manager Cody Holcomb.

“This change will be in line with the new regulations from the ABLE (Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement) Commission allowing businesses to sell beer and wine,” he said.

Nearly two years ago, Oklahoma voters approved a measure allowing grocery stores and convenience stores to sell wine and full-strength beer, but not liquor. State Question 792 also allows liquor stores to sell refrigerated beer and wine and items other than alcohol, as long as sales of those products do not exceed 20 percent of monthly sales.

The changes outlined in SQ 792, which was designed to modernize Oklahoma’s liquor laws, will take effect starting Oct. 1.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a proposal to add a 10th member to the nine-member Water Cluster Development Committee, which guides the city in addressing issues associated with turning Ada into a hub for water-related research. The new member’s term will expire in May 2021.

Councilman Bryan Morris wondered if adding a 10th person to the board could result in a deadlock if the board voted on an issue.

Holcomb said city officials did not anticipate any deadlocked votes, but he added that officials might recommend adding an 11th member to the board in the future. He also said that the board’s newest member has experience in the private sector, which would come in handy.

• Appointed Duane Smith, who has 32 years of experience with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, to fill the newly created slot on the water cluster committee.

• Accepted Hodges Farms and Dredging’s bid to remove sludge from the tanks at the city’s liquid waste department, 1801 N. Mississippi, for $94,250.

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.