Adjustments made to potential ‘Go Cup' ordinance

City Attorney Chris Latimer reads the newly revised Go Cup Ordinance to Ward 4 Alderman Jason Walker and Mayor Lynn Spruill during the Starkville Board of Aldermen's work session on Friday. (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
Staff Writer

The Starkville Board of Aldermen voiced final concerns on the Go Cup ordinance at its work session on Friday, finalizing a more structured ordinance before looking to call for a public hearing at Tuesday's meeting.

The meeting began with City Attorney Chris Latimer reading the newest draft of the ordinance to the aldermen.

Aldermen agreed to move forward with a 90-day trial period to see how the ordinance will work in Starkville.

According to the current draft of the ordinance, after the 90-day trial period, it shall remain in effect unless further amended by the board.

Aldermen will decide on Tuesday if it will call for a public hearing.

As discussion from the board began, Ward 6 Alderman and Vice Mayor Roy A'. Perkins voiced his concern of particular language in the ordinance.

He said he is wary of the way it is currently worded, because if there is a special event, the streets are closed and the special event had approval from the board, residents can drink under the protection of the ordinance.

Perkins said he is not in favor of the ordinance.

Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk said she is in favor of the ordinance, but she felt the city should shrink the location to Main Street and allow observation of policing and impact of students.

Although she voiced her concern, Sistrunk said she is fine with moving forward with the current designated corridor.

"I'd rather start small, work out the kinks and then expand it, once we're comfortable that this is not stressing the police department or creating any other problems," Sistrunk said.

She also thought it would be beneficial to consider some parts of the adjacent streets to include businesses like The Guest Room, which is not set on the designated corridor.

It was later clarified The Guest Room would fall under the ordinance, because it is connected to a parcel located throughout the designated area.

Ward 5 Alderman Patrick Miller said he has thought about the same approach Sistrunk had, but he said there has been a "divide" between the Cotton District and Downtown. He said he would like to keep the current corridor to help link the two areas together.

When Mayor Lynn Spruill asked if she could place the ordinance on the agenda to call for a public hearing, Miller said their main concern in the beginning was formatting a more solid structure of the ordnance.

Miller said they accomplished a strong enough draft to present to the public.

The ordinance would allow residents to purchase an alcoholic beverage or wine from an authorized business, then leave the business as long as it remains within the boundaries of the designated leisure and recreation district.

According to Mississippi House Bill 1223 which was passed in 2016, state law defines a “leisure and recreation district” as a area designated by the municipal governing body with an ordinance or resolution.

The boundaries for the leisure and recreation district will be from the corridor of City Hall on Main Street down University Drive to the pedestrian bridge leading to Mississippi State University’s campus.

The current hours of the ordinance will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The hours are subject to change if city leaders decide to amend it after the trial period.

Other specific regulations for the ordinance includes a specific cup, no larger than 16 ounces. Also, residents can’t go into other establishments who sell alcohol with their Go Cup.

The board decided the cups will be clear and plastic, along with a sticker to designate the container is being used under the Go Cup ordinance.

As residents leave the designated area, there will be notification of the boundary and they will have to dispose of their cup.