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City examines liquor license laws

A local watering hole's liquor license may change and the city could choose to issue an additional after a new alcohol ordinance passed first reading during a Dickinson City Commission meeting at City Hall Monday evening.

After local entrepreneur Jayne Ridl brought to the city's attention a section of city ordinance that allows an additional on/off sale license to be issued once the population reaches 18,000, city officials set out to decipher just how to issue the license if they so chose.

Several months have been spent on the matter.

On March 1, 1995, 15 on/off sale licenses existed within city limits and if the population is deemed 18,000 or more, the "City Commission may, but shall not be required to grant an additional on/off sale license," according to the revised ordinance.

The ordinance would require the license be issued via a sealed bid process, but "the city reserves the right to reject any and all bids, to waive any informalities in the bidding process or any bid received and to accept any bid which, in sole judgment of the City Commission, is in the city's best interest," according to the drafted ordinance.

Much debate has surrounded the liquor license presently held by the Evil Olive Pizzeria & Bar.

The Queen City Club once graced the space now occupied by the Evil Olive and when the Queen City's on/off sale license was issued via annexation, present city code was written stating the license cannot be moved to another location, as can most on/off sale licenses.

City Attorney Matt Kolling said it was requested the special provision now governing Evil Olive's license be eliminated.

If the ordinance is approved, Kolling said removal of the special provision will make the license movable to other locations.

If the ordinance passes, Evil Olive's license could be considered the 16th license.

The ordinance will undergo a second reading and possible final passage during a Nov. 1 City Commission meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.