PARKER, Fla. (WMBB) — Alcohol laws are changing in the city of Parker.
Council members voted Tuesday night to extend alcohol sales by one hour.
It may not sound like much, but for a few businesses, the change could make all the difference in the world.
Paul Buholz owns a charter fishing business called Pier 98. Each morning, his boats leave the docks, loaded with passengers wanting a day of fishing and fun on the Gulf.
“They leave the dock at seven [in the morning],” Mayor Andrew Kelly said. “They load it up with all their gear, get on the boat and they leave.”
The only problem is customers can’t buy beer in Parker until 7 a.m. They have to buy that provision outside of the city limits.
“What he’s asking for is for us to reduce the time that you’re able to buy, in this case, beer and ice to put in your cooler on the fishing boat because they’re not going out on their vessel,” Kelly said. “They’re going out on a paid charter boat.”
Tuesday night, council members honored Buholz’s request, changing the alcohol sales hours from 7 a.m. to 6 a.m.
“With what little I do know, it doesn’t make sense for people who leave our place to go through Callaway and then buy their beer,” Buholz said. “It seems to me it’s a lost revenue for us, as well as probably tax some place to Parker.”
That extra hour applies to all properly-licensed Parker businesses, except bars. This will also keep the revenue from alcohol sales in Parker.
“They buy it in a different town, and they still consume it in Parker,” Mayor Kelly said. “The chief had some concerns and I understand that, but the vast majority of the people, that’s what they agree with and I agree too.”
Mayor Kelly said it will also keep customers happy.
“I think that was a good thing,” he said. “I think that the vast majority of everybody agreed that it’s kind of silly to go on a charter boat if you cannot buy refreshments to go fishing with.”
The motion was passed by a vote of four to one by the council.