Hub council bans booze sales near churches, schools

The Hattiesburg City Council has amended the city's alcohol ordinance.

In a specially called meeting Friday, council members decided that businesses whose primary income is derived from alcohol cannot locate within 400 feet of a church or school.

Council members say the recent concerns of the congregation of Plymouth Rock Baptist Church on Highway 42 prompted them to take a second look at the ordinance.

"There's a building that's under construction next door and the thought is that it's going to be a club and we just really can't allow that to happen," says council President Kim Bradley. "There are state ordinances that deal with alcohol and that comes through the ABC and their laws.  Beer and wine can be sold next to a church within 100 feet and now what we've done, we've increased that from 100 feet to 400 feet."

Bradley says the new ordinance is also needed because of the continuing growth in the western part of the city.