To serve or not to serve, that is the question in Keokuk

UPDATED: July 18 at 4:25 p.m.

An ordinance currently on the books in Keokuk says alcohol is not permitted on public property.

For years though, the city council has allowed some events such as Rollin' on the River and Wine Over the Water, which are held on public property, to serve alcohol.

But others who have applied for a special permit to serve alcohol at places like Rand Park have been denied.

The most recent request came from a Hamilton, Illinois resident who wants to serve alcohol at a benefit at Hubinger Landing on Keokuk's riverfront.

The city council is split on this request.

This has brought up a bigger issue of an ordinance change to allow special permits for serving alcohol on public property.

Council member Ron Payne is against allowing alcohol to be served in some parks.

He says his stance reflects the feelings of residents in his ward.

"It's not that they're against the consumption of alcohol. They just don't want it in our family friendly parks. Where we have allowed it in the past, they have no problem with it," said Payne.

Council member Mike Moore is on the other side of the argument.

Moore told KHQA over the phone Monday afternoon he's not in favor of alcohol use in parks, but feels the city is picking and choosing where things can be done.

He says if you're going to allow alcohol use in one public place, it should be the same everywhere.

This topic should be brought up at this Thursday's council meeting.


Alcohol is a point of contention in Keokuk these days.

A Tri-State resident asked to have a riverfront benefit for a family member Saturday, Aug. 6, at Hubinger Landing . They want to charge people $5 to attend the event and sell beer outside.

But city council members are divided on whether to issue a permit to sell alcohol or beer on the city's property.

According to the Daily Gate City , council members Roger Bryant , Dan Winn, Zane Zirkel and Ron Payne voted against allowing alcohol on city property earlier this summer for a Cajun event.The rest of the council, Susan Dunek, Karole Smith, Mike Moore and Mike O TMConnor, haven TMt been able to overcome that position. Five yes votes are necessary for a measure to carry.

However with one empty seat due to the resignation of former council member Mike Girard, five-vote majority seems to be unattainable on the subject and likely will stay that way for a while.

KHQA's Jarod Wells is talking to both sides Monday and will have the details Monday night on KHQA's evening news at six.