Carmi officials looking to change liquor laws - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Carmi officials looking to change liquor laws

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CARMI, IL (WFIE) -

Officials in Carmi, Illinois are looking to change some of the city's liquor laws.

Some of the laws haven't been looked at since 1982 and, as you can imagine, some resident are thrilled while others are concerned.

Carmi City officials added a liquor ordinance survey to the city's website last week.

Now they're urging residents to weigh in on what they hope to see happen.

"For a community to move the direction of loosening alcohol restrictions is probably not a good move," said Pastor Steve Norris of Mercy Gate Church.

"I applaud the city council for taking the steps to try to change a set of laws that are no longer applicable to our existing business," said Glenn Coleman.

The Carmi community is reacting to proposed changes to the city's liquor ordinance.

City Council is asking residents to consider four things for two big reasons.

"It's jobs, it's tax revenue for the city," said Doug Hays.

They're looking at extending last calls in bars from 11:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, allowing licensed restaurants to sell alcohol on Sundays and giving businesses the chance to let customers drink outside.

Lastly, creating more restaurant liquor licenses.

So far, the response is divided. Some think the ideas will help businesses prosper.

"To allow us to compete with some of our neighboring communities, to allow our businesses to have the same kind of competitive advantage as they have," said Coleman.

Others say this would create problems, like more drunk driving, in the tight-knit community.

"More hours of drinking and more time to get deeper and drunk and a longer drunk if you could say that," said Pastor Norris. "I think it is not a positive thing."

There's not time table on when a decision will be made.

One Alderman tells 14 News the city is listening to all sides.

"They kid is to get education, get input," said Hays. "That way we make the best decision, because when it comes to this, there is no right answer."

For now, city officials are asking Carmi residents to take the online survey and to talk to their ward's alderman about where they stand.

You can take the survey here.

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