The city council canvassed the liquor election on Tuesday, officially starting the process for the hard liquor placement on store shelves.
Mayor Angela Raiborn said the city called a special meeting to canvass the election and swear in city council members following the May 12 election.
The city did not hold an election for city council members due to a lack of opposition on the ballot and the a proposition to sell hard liquor for off-premise consumption passed with a vote of 252 votes for and 164 against.
Jennifer Boatman, deputy clerk for the Cherokee County Clerk's Office, said as of Wednesday, only one application came into the office for approval and it was for the Pick 'n' pack on 6th Street.
Residents could see bottles on store shelves in as little as four weeks, said John Hatch with Texas Petition Strategies, which was hired to get signatures to put the option on the ballot.
He said if the company is already registered with TABC, the process could take as short as three weeks, but if the client is new a few weeks could be tacked on for processing.
Carolyn Beck, director of communications for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, said there are a few steps before an application for a permit to sell liquor can be filed with the agency.
She said the application must be certified by the city and the county to verify it is legal for the sale of liquor in those jurisdictions. The application must also be approved by the Texas Comptroller' office to verify the company is up-to-date on its taxes.
“Once that happens, then we average 41 days (to process the application),” Beck said. “It can always take longer if there is a protest or something, but it can also be faster than that.”
Officials said the stores must be 300 feet, door-to-door, from churches and hospitals and 300 feet, property line to property line, from a school.
Beck said what the agency calls “package stores” generally apply for liquor permit. Grocery stores and gas stations usually stick to selling beer and wine, she said.
“In theory they could, but there are too many restrictions for a grocery store or convenience store to want to be a package store,” she said.
Package stores selling liquor have to close at 9 p.m. daily and be closed entirely on Sunday. Employees and customers must be at least 21 to be in the building.
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