City toasts liquor store tastings
Public hearing set for Oct. 8
A public hearing next month will allow residents to uncork their support or opposition for a proposed municipal ordinance that allows tastings inside liquor stores.
The Cortez City Council voted unanimously Tuesday, Sept. 24, to pass the new ordinance, pending a public hearing next month. City attorney Mike Green said the ordinance allows each of the city’s four licensed liquor stores to hosts 104 wine, beer and liquor tastings annually. The tastings require an annual $100 fee.
“If this doesn’t work out, you can always rescind the order,” Green told councilors. “It’s worth trying.”
West Slope Liquor storeowner Jim Wilson said he recently completed a state-required five-hour class to host tasting inside his business. He said he was happy to hear the city toasted the measure with approval.
“We are hoping to have our first tasting in mid-October,” Wilson said. “We are going to start with wine and champagne first.”
Wilson said the tastings should help his bottom line, while at the same time afford customers the opportunity to sample new products before committing to purchase.
“It’s beneficial to both me and my customers,” he said.
Councilor Tom Butler was most vocal regarding the new ordinance, mainly questioning if the measure had the support of law enforcement.
“I don’t see it being an issue,” Cortez Police Chief Roy Lane responded. “As far as enforcement, there’s not much difference than having a wine tasting in the park.”
The law would limit the amount of alcohol that can be consumed on the premises, and requires proper disposal of any left over alcohol, Green said.
The Cortez law is mirrored after a similar statute in Durango.
The Oct. 8 public hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.
In other council news:
A new ordinance passed unanimously enabling code-enforcement officers to issue a summons after no one spoke for or against the measure during a public hearing.
A site-development plan was unanimously approved for a new Maverick gas and convenience store near the intersection of U.S. Highway 160 and Colorado Highway 145. Construction is slated to start next spring.
A resolution to support Referendum 5D MCHD was approved unanimously. The November ballot issue allows the hospital to apply for grants.
Jeanine Valdez was unanimously approved to fill a vacant seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission.