Alcohol sales legalized in time for annual barbecue festivities

OSAGE CITY-Alcohol sales during Osage City’s upcoming Smoke in the Spring Barbecue Contest will now be legal after the city council approved a new ordinance at the March 26 council meeting.

Although alcohol had been sold at such events on city property in the past, the council learned last year that city ordinance did not allow sales during events other than those sponsored by the city, but did allow consumption of alcoholic beverages. The issue came up during baseball season, when a request was received from an individual wanting to sell beer at a fundraising tournament.

With Smoke in the Spring approaching, set for April 12 and 13, the council discussed enacting a new ordinance at the March 12 meeting, noting the lack of the city’s authorization for alcohol sales had been overlooked in the past.

Last week, city staff presented the new ordinance, which the council approved unanimously after agreeing on the application fee and insurance requirements.

The new ordinance requires: a special permit must be obtained 15 days before a planned event in which alcohol will be sold; a state permit must first be obtained to sell alcoholic beverages other than cereal malt beverages; a fee of $50 must be paid to the city in addition to any fee remitted to the state alcohol division; applicant must submit proof of liability insurance and name the city as an additional insured; alcohol cannot be sold between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.; boundaries of the serving area must be denoted at the event site; alcohol must be sold in containers different than those in which non-alcoholic beverages are sold; and alcohol cannot be served in glass containers.

At the March 12 meeting, Osage City Manager Linda Jones said she had contacted the city’s insurance carrier and learned the city’s insurance premium would increase $1,000-$1,200 per year if alcohol was sold at events on city property . Also, each event would require insurance, at an additional estimated cost of $650 per occurrence.

As planned, the Osage City Lions Club will sell alcoholic beverages at Smoke in the Spring Friday night festivities known as a Taste of Osage City, during which a variety of food prepared by barbecue competitors can be exchanged for BBQ Bucks. Also a free concert and dance will be held in the recreation building. BBQ Bucks can be purchased in advance from city hall and other locations in town.

In other business during the March 26 meeting, the council approved the low bid received for planned rehabilitation of the city’s lake and dam. Winning bidder Smoky Hill, LLC, Salina, submitted a bid of $1,900,595 for the work that will include excavation, building a flood wall, demolishing and replacing spillway abutments, constructing a new stilling basin, and rehabilitating the dam, in addition to other related work.

Other bidders on the job were Wildcat Concrete Services, Topeka, $2,468,960, and Emerson Construction, Inc., $2,473,639. The engineer’s estimate of the cost of the project was $1,883,230.

Bob Koopman, of Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A., an engineer on the project, previously said construction would begin soon after the bids were approved. A sediment removal project is also to be conducted at the same time as the dam project.

The council also approved a change order for an ongoing natural gas system improvement project, adding $70,335 to adjust quantities of materials used or to be used in two phases of the project. The total estimated cost of the project is $962,642.

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