alcohol

Bethel City Hall. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Bethel City Hall. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

The Bethel City Council last night took one step towards a possible return to local option status. By a four to three vote, they introduced an ordinance, which, if passed by council next month would let voters would decide in October whether to allow local alcohol sales solely through a city-run liquor store.

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troopers, alaska state troopers

Image courtesy of AST.

A Tununak woman is under arrest after allegedly attempting to transport alcohol to the community. According to an Alaska State Trooper dispatch, members of the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team caught Jessica Post trying to smuggle 12 bottles of R&R Canadian Whisky into the dry village.
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Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

The Bethel City Council rejected a move towards lowering city sales tax in their Tuesday meeting. Noting the recent water rate hike, Mayor Rick Robb proposed asking voters whether they want to drop sales tax from 6 percent to 5.75 percent. He was the only council member to vote for introduction.
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Bethel City Hall. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Bethel City Hall. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

One of two companies seeking to open liquor stores is withdrawing its application for the moment.

Seth Madole from the Alaska Commercial Company spoke before the Bethel City Council in their regular Tuesday meeting. He cited the community’s sensitivity to alcohol and the upcoming advisory vote. Read more →

BNC is proposing to put a package liquor store in a the Kipusvik building, the former site of Swanson’s grocery store. Photo by Geraldine Brink / KYUK.

BNC is proposing to put a package liquor store in a the Kipusvik building, the former site of Swanson’s grocery store. Photo by Geraldine Brink / KYUK.

It’s been four decades since Bethel had a liquor store, and for now that status will continue. The Bethel City Council voted Tuesday to protest two liquor store license applications from the Bethel Native Corporation’s Bethel Spirits and the Alaska Commercial Company. As KYUK’s Ben Matheson reports, the debate now leaves city hall as citizens gear up for a new advisory vote.

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The Bethel City Council can consider protesting two liquor licenses. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

The Bethel City Council can consider protesting two liquor licenses. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

The Bethel City Council can protest two applications for liquor store licenses in their regular Tuesday meeting. They will consider resolutions that ask the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to turn down the applications for the Bethel Native Corporation’s Bethel Spirits and a proposed store within the Alaska Commercial Company grocery store. Both resolutions highlight local and state laws about the proximity to churches and schools. Read more →

The Bethel City Council introduced an an ordinance for an alcohol advisory vote. Photo by Dean Swope /KYUK.

The Bethel City Council introduced an an ordinance for an alcohol advisory vote. Photo by Dean Swope /KYUK.

The Bethel City Council introduced two ordinances in their regular meeting to bring about community votes on future alcohol sales. One calls for an advisory vote on July 28th with five questions about whether the city should support several types of liquor licenses, while the second calls for a vote on a 12 percent alcohol tax.
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The Bethel City Council will Tuesday night in a regular meeting. Photo by Dean Swope /KYUK.

The Bethel City Council will meet Tuesday night in a regular meeting. Photo by Dean Swope /KYUK.

The Bethel City Council can introduce two ordinances concerning potential alcohol sales Tuesday. One calls for an advisory vote on July 28th with six questions about whether the city should support several types of liquor licenses. The second ordinance would ask voters in the July election on whether to institute a 12-percent tax on alcohol sales within the city.
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BNC President and CEO Ana Hoffman speaks at a community meeting in Bethel. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

BNC President and CEO Ana Hoffman speaks at a community meeting in Bethel. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

The clock is ticking on a sixty day period for the City of Bethel to consider protesting a package liquor store license before the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. The Bethel Native Corporation’s Bethel Spirits LLC application was officially filed the morning of April 6th. The Alaska Commercial Company also plans to file for another package liquor store.
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Cynthia Frankin is Director for the ABC Board. Photo from State of Alaska ABC website.

Cynthia Frankin is Director for the ABC Board. Photo from State of Alaska ABC website.

The state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will attend a community meeting in Bethel Monday about proposed alcohol sales. Director Cynthia Franklin will present on how the license process works, what laws the board follows, and how it takes community input. No board members will be present.
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