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Clarkdale Market earns liquor license
State approval comes despite town's non-support

The Clarkdale Market has been given the green light by the Arizona State Liquor Board to acquire a beer and wine store license, despite a recommendation the license be denied by the Clarkdale Town Council. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

The Clarkdale Market has been given the green light by the Arizona State Liquor Board to acquire a beer and wine store license, despite a recommendation the license be denied by the Clarkdale Town Council. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

CLARKDALE -- Local business owner Roy Beard earned an Arizona State Liquor Board beer and wine store license, despite the Clarkdale's Town Council's recommendation that it be denied.

The issue was moved from the town council's Aug. 26 consent agenda to make room for public comment. Concerns ranged from the owners' past compliance issues with town codes, to causing a saturation of businesses with liquor licenses operating in one area.

With the town's negative recommendation, the state liquor board automatically scheduled it for a hearing.

Town Manager Gayle Mabery attended the Dec. 4 meeting with Clarkdale Fire Chief Joe Moore, and said the issues the council had were not ones the liquor board considered relevant to its decision.

"It was pretty universally clear that the board members just didn't feel that it was really necessary for this to have come before their board," Mabery said. "While it may have been an issue locally, it wasn't one that raised to a level of concern for them."

She said the town uses a process for evaluating liquor licenses that strictly follows the administrative code, which was used for Clarkdale Market as well.

Local ordinances will still be part of the process, and Mabery said the town is gathering information from the liquor board about how they weigh local decisions and what they feel is important.

"This was the first time that we've ever recommended against a liquor license," she said. "In the future, we'll have a little bit more information from the liquor board to make sure our council is a little more clear on their expectations."

Mabery said the business climate in Clarkdale has been positive over the last year, especially in the downtown area.

After the liquor board issued its decision, Mabery said she approached the applicants and wished them well.

"We hope they're very successful in their business in Clarkdale," she said. "That hasn't changed."

Clarkdale councilman Bill Regner was the only vote against not recommending the liquor license approval. At the time, Beard said without the liquor license, there would be the possibility of closing his business in Clarkdale.

"When he made this comment, which I even framed it as a threat, then I felt that he was being counterproductive," Regner said.

It was at that point when a motion was made, and the rest of the council agreed not to recommend the liquor board approve the license.

This new practice of putting liquor licenses up for discussion rather than as a consent item will continue on future agendas, Mabery said.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @ymgonzal and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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