PORT RICHEY — The city’s last remaining blue law is a step closer to disappearing after the City Council at its Nov. 22 meeting directed City Attorney James Mathieu to draft an ordinance allowing Sunday morning alcohol sales.
Currently, the city prohibits alcohol sales between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays; on Saturdays, 24-hour sales are allowed (for practical purposes, that means bars can stay open into the wee hours on Friday night). Under the current law, on Sundays, stores cannot begin selling alcohol until 11 a.m.
The change “makes us consistent with the county and with New Port Richey,” said council member Bill Colombo. “The city is surrounded by a huge area where we’re the only (place) you can’t buy a six-pack of beer before you get on the boat.”
Mathieu will draft an ordinance changing the time of Sunday alcohol sales to conform with the rest of the week, and the law will then be voted on following the standard protocol. All members of the council, however, signaled support.
Also at the meeting, Mayor Scott Trembly reported being in talks with Pasco County about creating a shuttle that would loop through the city and New Port Richey.
“Public transport makes sense given the number of people who want to come to our area,” he said. “Also, given the number of places that serve alcohol, it makes sense from a safety standpoint as well.” Trembly said he is also in touch with officials in New Port Richey, which instituted a downtown shuttle system.
In other business, the council announced that survey work for the Limestone Pier has been completed and contractors are now working on the design. The popular public fishing pier closed Sept. 21 when structural issues were found.