UPDATE: Downtown Dothan Ordinance Has Been Passed

By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
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(DOTHAN) - In about three weeks, Downtown Dothan will host the first ever International Foster Fest. After a winning vote at Dothan’s City Commission meeting Tuesday morning, it will also bring another first: open containers. People can now legally walk around downtown events, drinking alcohol. However, that is unsettling for some.

“If they're going to have a fest downtown and then you got open containers, you take your grandchildren down there and they're confronted with all that. I don't approve of it,” said Powell Brewton, a Dothan resident.

District 4 Commissioner John Ferguson said his constituents felt strongly against the ordinance and spoke on their behalf.

“Anytime you expand the opportunity for people to consume alcohol, you also give opportunities for those that can’t control themselves and that’s my concern,” said Ferguson.

However, supporters said those opportunities are imminent.

“We've had, for Foster Fest, kind of open container that's been happening organically. Now, there’s a great process that can make it a legal form so that people can feel safe and secure in the entertainment district,” explained Jill Williams, Executive Director of the Downtown Group.

For downtown business owners, alcohol is a minor part. They argued this ordinance might help Dothan compete with nearby cities and continue to progress.

“Alcohol consumption is just a common part of everyday life in most cities, so, to have that traffic flow during events is good for businesses,” added Jemmie Watford, owner of Killer Group Productions located on North Foster Street.

Events downtown can allow open containers as long as they have insurance, an approved police assembly permit, and hire off-duty police officers for security.

The downtown Dothan Ordinance has been passed.

The vote was four to three.

The ordinance will allow downtown Dothan to be an entertainment district.

It will also allow businesses that already have liquor licenses to sell alcohol in non-glass container.

We will have more on Live at Lunch.

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