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County Bars Were Operating Under Wrong Ordinance

Bars and liquor stores in unincorporated Kenton County have been operating under the wrong ordinance and staying open past the allowed times, it was announced at Tuesday's Fiscal Court meeting.

Attorney Mike Ruberg, speaking on behalf of Morning View's Spinning Wheel Tavern and two other establishments including an American Legion Post, said the "glitch" was discovered by a state alcoholic beverage control investigator.

The southern Kenton County bar had been staying open till 2:30 a.m., which is typical of similar establishments in other parts of the county but it turns out that the unincorporated areas are supposed to operate under a separate ordinance that would force it close at midnight Mondays through Saturdays and be closed all day on Sunday.

"We're here to ask you today to adopt an ordinance to make these times equal," Ruberg said. The attorney said that his clients were told by the investigator to continue operating as they were and to simply make a formal request to the fiscal court. 

"This is just sort of a glitch found by the ABC."

Assistant County Attorney Stacy Tapke said that now the county is aware, it could take action. An ordinance will be drafted and have a first reading in two weeks and then a formal vote two weeks after that, Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghas said.

"Everyone thought this statute wasn't there," Ruberg said. 

"Someone was trying to justify their job," County Commissioner Jon Draud suggested to laughter.

County Administrator Joe Shriver asked if the change would require the county to institute an ABC board but attorneys present did not believe that to be necessary. The Kenton County Police Chief also said that he would see no problem with allowing the bars to continue operating till 2:30 a.m.

Ruberg said the decision would affect roughly fifteen establishments. "And that's probably why it's not such a big issue," he said.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News