By John Howell Sr.
Batesville aldermen, following last month’s decision to allow Sunday beer and alcohol sales, acted at a Friday, October 16 meeting to increase the penalties for violations.
Aldermen unanimously voted to set the penalty for first violation at $500, $1,000 for a second offense, and a $1,000 fine plus municipal action to revoke an alcohol sales permit for a third offense.
The ordinance revision removes “up to” language that required Municipal Court Judge Bill McKenzie to set the amount of the fine. Assistant city attorney Colmon Mitchell made the recommendation, saying that the judge prefers the ordinance to state the fine’s amount.
The new fine schedule applies, “if you violate the hours or the age,” alderman-at-Large Teddy Morrow said.
Sunday beer sales for off-premises consumption became legal in the city limits this past Sunday.
“I’d like to tighten up on minor sales, too,” Alderman Eddie Nabors said. He said he wanted similar penalty standardization for minor in possession charges. His recommendation was taken under advisement.
In other action at the Oct. 16 meeting, alderman Ted Stewart requested shoulder and center striping for newly resurfaced portions of Martin Luther King Street.
“It’s going to be next year before we do it,” Mayor Jerry Autrey replied.
City Clerk Laura Herron told of a city employee’s request to receive overtime pay instead of comp time when the employee attends outside weekend training for his job.
The city employee said he had accumulated so much comp time that he would not be able to take the time off, Herron said.
City employees frequently attend after hours and weekend training related to their jobs. They currently receive the so-called “comp time” at a rate of time-and-a-half for the overtime hours that result when the training hours added to their regularly scheduled hours create overtime.
The mayor and aldermen took the question under advisement.
Other action during the Oct. 16 meeting included discussion of a historic preservation district. See related story below.