MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Some real progress happened Tuesday as the Mobile City Council considered two new entertainment districts in downtown. The districts would allow customers to take alcoholic beverages out of bars in a paper cup.
Jessica Zampirei lives and works in Mobile.
Hubert Legare is a tourist in town, visiting from Montreal, Canada.
As they lunched side by side on Dauphin Street, Darwin Singleton asked them both about the idea of two new entertainment districts that allow patrons to take alcoholic beverages, in paper cups, out of bars or restaurants.
"The rules are you throw your drink away before you leave the bar, so I think, yeah, everyone would like that," said Jessica.
"I think it's fun when it's done in an old part of a city that's got a lot of history," said Hubert.
Even as they were finishing their sandwiches, two blocks away at Government Plaza, city leaders were once again sitting down to debate the idea.
The goal? Finally come up with something they could put on an agenda and vote on come next Tuesday.
Concerns? Noise, litter, underage drinking and police enforcement in the new districts.
As the debate rages on, the police chief said he doesn't like it because he can't enforce it, the mayor said he's concerned about enforcement but he likes it.
Tuesday, Police Chief Micheal T. Williams told the council he believes his department will need $1.6 million for additional equipment and officers to make this work.
"What we are trying to convey to the council is that if we're gonna have proper enforcement, there are some things that are going to be necessary to get that done," said the mayor.
But it now appears the council may have reached a compromise in spite of the chief's concerns. Council member Gina Gregory told Local 15 News they've worked out concerns about litter and fines for violators.
They've also agreed to limit the hours the district rules are in effect, from 6:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., to coincide with police shifts.
Gregory said at least six of seven council members are on board.
The vote should come next Tuesday.