“That’s by law that we have to do that,” explained Mount Airy ABC Board Chairman J.D. Bartley, who said Tuesday the enforcement change is resulting from a state ABC reform bill approved last year in Raleigh.
Bartley described the requirement as a bureaucratic burden.
“What it amounts to is it just adds paperwork to the police that’s just more red (tape) crap,” the ABC official said. “That’s as nice as I can put it.”
The reform bill is generally aimed at ending abuses noted among ABC operations in some areas of the state. Among its provisions is requiring local ABC boards to adopt ethics policies, with a system also established for removing board members who violate rules and standards.
Thursday during a meeting at 7 p.m., the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners will take action related to performance standards for local ABC boards which include enforcement of liquor laws.
North Carolina General Statute 18B mandates that a board either hire an ABC law enforcement officer or contract with a local police agency to provide that function. A resolution that the commissioners will consider states that the Mount Airy ABC Board believes contracting with city police represents the “most efficient” option.
Bartley said this will mean one or more officers being designated to enforce ABC laws within the city limits. “That’s the way I understand it,” he said.
Mount Airy police will work in conjunction with North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) agents, according to Bartley.
In exchange for its services, the police department will receive 5 percent of the profits generated by the city’s ABC store on Starlite Road each year.
The resolution will become effective upon approval, with Mayor Deborah Cochran authorized to execute the contract for ABC law enforcement. The contract allows the arrangement to be canceled by either party with 30 days’ written notice.
In other business at Thursday night’s meeting, the commissioners will consider authorizing an application for a $5,000 grant to improve a walking track around ballfields at Jones Intermediate School.
The money, from the state Adopt-A-Trail program, would be used to resurface the track, which is used by parents and other residents during games, practices and as a community park, officials say. The Mount Airy Parks and Recreation program utilizes the fields for T-ball and baseball.
No local match would be required for the grant.
In other business, the board is expected to:
n Hear a presentation on sustainable development, and discuss that issue afterward;
n Authorize a contract with Martin Starnes & Associates, a Hickory accounting firm, to perform a city audit at a cost of $30,000. State law requires an independent review of the municipality’s books each year;
n Discuss the annual report of the Mount Airy Fire Department, which board members received last month;
n Recognize Pilot View Resource Conservation and Development and Charles Anderson, its executive director, for their contributions to the Ararat River Restoration Project;
n Receive an update from Todd Tucker, the president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, concerning that organization’s activities and projects.
Contact Tom Joyce at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1924.