Morrow City Council OKs alcohol catering sales

Members of the Morrow City Council, Tuesday, unanimously approved a new city ordinance allowing “off-premises” alcohol sales at catered events, which a top city official said will open up a new revenue source for the town.

Morrow City Manager Jeff Eady said the ordinance allows businesses that sell alcohol to obtain a license that will give them permission to sell alcohol at events they cater within the city’s limits.

He said these events are mainly functions that would take place at facilities with community gathering spaces, including the Morrow Center, the National Archives at Atlanta, the Georgia Archives, and Clayton State University.

Eady added, however, that city officials do not yet have projections on how much revenue they expect to bring in from the issuing of these permits.

“We think it’s a good idea,” Eady said. “We’ve probably missed out on some revenue from events that would take place [in Morrow].”

Alcoholic beverage retailers whose businesses are located within the city limits will be able to purchase an off-premises alcohol sales license, to cater events, for an annual fee of $200. Retailers who are located outside Morrow’s city limits, will have to show proof of a alcohol beverage catering license, issued by another city, or county, and pay a $50 per-event fee, to cater a party or gala in the city.

Eady also said there is another benefit, in addition to the revenue boost, to allowing the licenses to be issued. He explained that it also allows the city’s police department to keep track of where catered events, with alcohol being served, are taking place. Officers can, in turn, be aware of the possibility that intoxicated drivers may show up near that facility.

“If an event takes place, say for instance at the Georgia Archives, we know that someone from off-site is coming in, and they’re serving alcohol at that location which typically does not serve alcohol,” Eady said. “Right now, everyone who serves alcohol in the city has an alcohol permit, that they have to purchase on an annual basis, so we know where they are. If they are serving without it, then we won’t know it.”

City officials also recognized City Councilmember Mason Barfield, who is stepping down from office, effective today, to move to his hometown of Hahira. Mayor Jim Millirons presented Barfield, and is wife, Elizabeth, with a plaque, a key to the city, a potted plant, and a $200 donation to the athletic scholarship fund at Clayton State University, where Barfield spent years as the school’s athletic director.

“You’ll always have a key to the City of Morrow, and any time you want to open our doors, you’re welcome to do that,” Millirons told the couple. “You brought to us a lot of sound judgment, and you kept us off a slippery slope at times.”

Councilman Barfield, who said his time on the council has “been nothing but a great experience and an education,” then eagerly suggested the mayor call for a motion to adjourn the meeting. “Let’s get this thing over with,” Barfield quipped.

Millirons, while laughing at Barfield’s statement, then called for the motion to adjourn, and Barfield immediately responded,“You’ve got it!”

The city held a reception in honor of Mason and Elizabeth Barfield after the meeting ended.