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For the second time in four months, Dothan’s leaders may change a section of the city’s alcohol ordinances.

Dothan City Commissioners listened to a proposal this week that would change the hours in which restaurants – and restaurants only – can sell alcohol on Sundays. Currently no one can market alcohol before 1 p.m., but commissioners could vote to change that to 10 a.m. for eateries in an upcoming meeting.

The proposed idea comes as recent state legislation has allowed cities and counties more latitude in when they permit alcohol to be sold, said Kevin Cowper, Dothan city manager. The proposed adjustment would allow restaurants – including limited service eateries and those that are accessories to entities like hotels – to sell alcohol only on their premises.

The rule does not impact the beginning of the Sunday blackout period for alcohol sales in Dothan, which is 2 a.m.

In June commissioners approved sweeping changes to the alcohol ordinance in regards to buffers that protect schools, churches, playgrounds and other similar entities. The adjustments impacted how the city measures the buffer distances and the distances allowed, amongst other changes.

Cowper presented the new request during an administrative meeting. Most presentations during an administrative meeting usually appear before commissioners for a vote within a month of the discussions.

Signing up for services: This week, commissioners renewed a contract with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind to provide interpreter services as needed. AIDB operates an office in Dothan, and the contract costs the city $55 per hour.

The city mostly utilizes the services in response to calls for police assistance or for interviews with investigators, Tonja Shelley of the Dothan Police Department said. Other departments can access the services, though, she added.

Dothan did not require the service in the 2019, 2017 and 2015 fiscal years and only used it once in the 2016 and 2018 fiscal years. In both cases, the police department required the assistance.

All told, AIDB has provided interpreter services to Dothan departments 10 times since October 2011.

Meeting schedule: The Houston County Commission will conduct its first administrative meeting of the new fiscal year on Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Houston County Administration Building. The City of Dothan’s Historic Preservation Commission will convene Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Dothan Civic Center.

Follow Jeremy Wise on Twitter @DEgovbeat

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