A week after Smithville voters approved a referendum to permit retail package stores (liquor stores) to sell alcoholic beverages in the municipality by a vote of 406 to 401, city officials report that several persons have inquired about how to get a license. But it may be weeks or months before the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission issues a license in Smithville.
In an interview with WJLE Friday, Ginna Winfrey, assistant director for the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission said there are yet several steps for the city to take. "The city needs to send us the certified election results from the election commission. The city will then need to contact MTAS (Municipal Technical Advisory Service). MTAS will help them (city) get the proper ordinances in place they will need and to develop their own Certificate of Compliance that will need to be issued as the very first stage for getting a liquor store in Smithville".
"The Certificate of Compliance is statutory. Some of the basic things that are set out in Title 57 is that the Certificate of Compliance has to certify that individuals who have applied for the Retail Package Store license have not been convicted of a felony within the past ten years. It also has to state that they (applicants) have a secured location and that the location complies with all the zoning requirements and ordinances in the municipality," she said.
"After they have their Certificate of Compliance, they (applicants) can fill out an application with us (Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission) and they will have to take out a public notice in the newspaper. Then a meeting will be set up with one of our agents and they (applicants) will have to interview. A financial investigation will also be done to ensure they have the financial viability to own and operate a liquor store," said Winfrey.
Applicants who meet all the conditions for a liquor license from the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission may also qualify to sell beer."As of July 1, 2014 with the Wine in Grocery Stores (law) this allowed retail package stores to sell beer without an additional license. The only license needed for retail package stores to be able to sell beer and other items is a license from the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission," said Winfrey.
City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson told WJLE Monday that MTAS has been contacted to give city aldermen guidance on establishing the proper ordinances and procedures. It will also be up to the aldermen whether to limit the number of licensed liquors stores in Smithville. "I met with MTAS this past Friday and they'll be assisting in developing an ordinance for the city along with any other assistance the city needs. I've also spoken with several other municipalities that have liquor stores to get an idea of how the revenue side of it works and to see how much other cities are collecting off tax revenues," he said.
Once the city approves an applicant's certificate of compliance to operate a retail liquor store, the process then moves to the Tennessee ABC Commission for a final decision.
The Tennessee ABC Commission requires applicants to meet the following conditions:
*Fill out an application form
*Fill out a questionaire: Owners, partners, officers, managers and/or any person who owns five percent (5%) or more in the corporation or the business, should complete these forms
*Certificate of Compliance: The Certificate of Compliance may be obtained from the local municipality Mayor's office
*Certificate of Occupancy: The Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the local municipality's Codes Department
*Proof of Possession : A copy of the lease must be furnished to this office. Along with the lease, a copy of the Deed (registered with the Registrar of Deed's Office) must be furnished also. If the application is for a change of ownership, a copy of the Bill of Sale or Purchase Agreement must be provided.
*Charter from the State of Tennessee: (This document is required only if the applicant is a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC) or a formal partnership). A copy of the Tennessee charter must be furnished to this office and it may be obtained from the Tennessee Secretary of State's Office, 6th Floor, William Snodgrass Building, 7th Avenue North between Charlotte Avenue and Union Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee, telephone (615) 741-2286
*List of Officers and or owners of corporations: A separate list of officers (with their titles) and owners with five percent (5%) or more of ownership, indicating amount of percentage of ownership, must be furnished with the application. Please use form AB-0099.
*Waiver of any right to an administrative hearing by applicant
*Tennessee Sales Tax Number
*Copy of Newspaper Notice and Sworn Statement Regarding the Publication: Prior to the Certificate of Compliance hearing date, a newspaper notice must be published in the local newspaper for three (3) consecutive issues. Further, an affidavit from the local newspaper should be provided verifying publication.
*An inspection will be conducted by a TABC agent after the application has been reviewed by the local TABC office.
*Financial Background Check of Applicant
*Credit Check from Banking/Lending Institution
*Employee Permits: All employees must obtain an employee permit card. See Retail Employee permit (blue card) information.