With a four-two vote -- two council members were absent from the Monday, July 6, meeting -- Marshall City Council rejected the Saline County Fair Association's request for a liquor license to host a beer garden at the fair to help increase revenue.
For about 20 minutes, council members heard statements from several concerned citizens who attended the meeting.
"I think it is so wrong for us to even think of doing such a thing," Irene Sims said.
"A junior fair should not have any liquor on the grounds," former 4-H leader Dorothea Kiehl said.
Providing legal advice for the council, attorney Don Stouffer said, "There is a difference between my legal advice and my personal opinion," and added that he was not in favor of a beer garden at the fair.
But, "The only issue before the council is whether or not the applicant is qualified and whether or not they meet the standards," Stouffer said, not "whether it's a good idea or a bad idea."
City Clerk Janet French said Brent A. Murphy, who applied for the license on behalf of the fair association, had followed the proper procedure and that everything was in order.
Before voting on the issue, council member Dan Brandt told the audience, "I wish you guys could've convinced (the fair association) instead of coming to us."
Brandt and council member Ron Duvall cast the only votes in favor of the liquor license.
On Tuesday, July 7, council member Sam Moten said he voted "no" because "alcohol and minors don't go hand in hand."
Moten said he had planned to vote in favor of the license, but changed his mind after hearing remarks from the audience.
Council member Sheila Cook said she also cast her "no" vote based on her opinion of the issue after listening to citizens speak.
"I felt like they had not got their voice heard" by the fair association, she said, so the issue should not be allowed to proceed.
The other "no" votes were cast by Barbara Utlaut and Lorna Alexander, both of whom were not able to be reached for comment.
Council members also heard from concerned Marshall resident Richard Johns, who spoke about the city's recently updated animal nuisance ordinance.
"I think the ordinance could be improved in several different ways," Johns said, adding that he would like to see the ordinance include a statute of limitations for the offense and a burden of proof, among other things.
In other business, council members approved an appropriations ordinance and amended an ordinance concerning failure to appear before municipal court, which is now punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
In the municipal services and personnel committee report, Brandt told the council that cold milling on the city's streets is scheduled to begin this Wednesday and last just a few days. Asphalt work will begin next Monday.
Duvall reported on construction in Marshall during the month of June. A total of 37 permits was issued, and $879,743-worth of construction occurred.
In his report, City Administrator Charles Tryban recommended for approval a bid for the demolition of a "substandard" house on East Eastwood Street.
The council approved Thompson Construction's bid of $9,941.30 for the work.
Council members Vince Lutterbie and Gabe Ramsey were absent from the meeting.
The council's next meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 20, at 5:15 p.m.