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City to Permit Sunday Alcohol Sales at Private Clubs


Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 2:11 a.m.

DAVENPORT | Davenport city commissioners passed an ordinance to allow private clubs and lodges to sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays, among other actions at Monday night's commission meeting.

The ordinance passed unanimously to allow private clubs and lodges with licenses to sell alcohol, such as the Moose Lodge, to do so on Sundays between noon and midnight.

The city passed an ordinance about five years ago to allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays, but left off private clubs, said City Manager Amy Arrington.

"We thought it seemed equitable because they are similar operations that already are permitted to serve alcohol so that we would go ahead and expand it," she said.

There are currently no private clubs or lodges within Davenport city limits, but Arrington said this would allow them to consider moving into the city.

The ordinance also allows businesses or clubs to appeal the distance requirements for alcohol sales, which prohibit sales within 500 feet of a school or day-care facility, and within 1,000 feet of a church. The commission will review such appeals on a case-by-case basis.

This may affect The Hotel in downtown Davenport, which is within 1,000 feet of a church.

In other business Monday, the commission passed a new salary plan 3-1 for city employees after a lengthy discussion.

Several citizens voiced their concern about giving employee raises in hard economic times, but the passage of this plan does not guarantee anyone a raise.

The plan, the first of its kind for Davenport and something most other cities have, Arrington said, would set minimum and maximum salaries for each position. The city will use the plan as a guideline for future hires, and strive to catch up the positions well below the minimums in the plan, she said.

The city used surveys conducted with other cities in the area to determine the best salary ranges for their employees, Arrington said.

There are 15 positions currently making below the minimums, and four that are significantly below the county average, including police and fire lieutenants.

"We want to take care of all our employees no matter what department, no matter what position," Arrington said. "We want to make sure we keep our employees and we want to make sure we attract the best candidate we can get."

Vice Mayor H.B. Robinson III, the lone dissenting vote, took issue with some of the minimums in the plan, saying that raising some salaries so much was unjustified.

Arrington said it would likely take several years to bring all salaries within the plan's range. The commission did not approve the recommendation to use the special reserve fund to help make up some of the biggest discrepancies between current salaries and the plan. They will discuss how to pay for possible raises at a later date.

The commission also approved an interlocal agreement to use Polk County's engineer for site infrastructure inspection. Davenport does not have an engineer on staff. The agreement will begin March 5, as long as county commissioners approve the partnership.

The commission voted to suspend its previous approval of a bid to construct a concrete pad for the fire station, so the city can work with the county engineer to lay out detailed specifications for the pad before construction. The pad is needed to store a reserve fire engine with the water holding capacity of a tanker.

"Before we spend the money we want to just make sure we're getting what we need the first time," said Davenport Fire Chief Stuart McCutcheon.

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