Wapato drafts 2 plans to combat alcohol abuse in city

Wapato drafts 2 plans to combat alcohol abuse in city
WAPATO, Wash. -- The city of Wapato is moving ahead with two separate plans to curb alcohol abuse in the city.

KIMA first told you last year about Wapato's intent to get help from the state in its battle against public drunkenness. City officials have already asked store owners to voluntarily stop selling high-alcohol content drinks to-go. That didn't work.

Now, Wapato has officially drawn up draft-plans to present to the Liquor Control Board. It includes several city blocks near city center. City officials want this area to be identified as an "alcohol impact area."

If the LCB approves the plan, the state can forbid businesses from selling the high-alcohol drinks to-go.

Johnny Rodriguez and his family live a few blocks away from several bars.

"First thing in the morning, 4 o'clock, my dogs going off and that's what it is, a bunch of them walking through,” Johnny said.

He says there's no doubt Wapato needs to do something.

"You can't really hide it, you see it everywhere,” Johnny said.

The city's isn't just stopping with the appeal to the LCB. Monday night, council also voted to go ahead with plans that would forbid alcohol sales before 12 noon in the city.

Johnny says he hopes both plans will ultimately improve quality of life in Wapato.

"To where we can go through town and not be bugged by somebody, you know, asking for money,” Johnny said. “And they want the money for the beer.”

The Liquor Control Board says there are only a few alcohol impact areas statewide.The nearest is in Spokane.

Wapato city council is still reviewing its AIA plan before it's submitted to the state.