Passage of Local Election Act by Legislature muddies issue

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AZTEC — While Aztec officials are not quite sure about the process to get a question on the ballot regarding sales of alcohol at restaurants on Sundays, the City Commission approved moving forward with the effort during its Tuesday meeting.

The confusion behind the ballot question come after the state Legislature passed the Local Election Act earlier this year.

The Local Election Act, which was sponsored by Rep. Paul Bandy, R-Aztec, is intended to consolidate elections.

Aztec officials hope that means they can get the question on the November ballot. Commissioner Sherri Sipe said she hopes the city can have the ballot question added to a general election ballot because special elections are expensive.

The city is working with the state and the county clerk to determine how to get the question on the ballot.

Currently, restaurants in Aztec are not permitted to sell alcohol on Sundays, but stores are allowed to sell alcohol. The 550 Brewing microbrewery also is permitted to sell alcohol because it manufactures its products.

In addition to approving the effort to get the issue on the ballot, the commission approved waivers for liquor licenses for two Main Avenue locations. The waivers were needed because of the sites' proximity to two churches. 550 Brewing was granted a waiver for its future location on Main Avenue.

The Aztec Theater also received a waiver because it is working on getting a club license. The club license will allow the nonprofit organization that operates the theater to sell alcohol during events.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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