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IC 21 Ordinance Goes to Vote

People in Johnson County will soon have the chance to vote on whether or not 19-and-20-year-olds should be allowed back into Iowa City bars after 10 p.m. for the first time in three years.

On Tuesday night, the Iowa City city council voted unanimously to send the issue to the ballot after being petitioned by local bar owner to change the ordinance.

But the council said instead that it is in favor of the rule, which was enacted in 2010, because it has helped to change the culture in Iowa City.

"It's safer downtown,there's been less violence,there's been less students arrested,there's less young people coming in from all over the state because they know you can get into the bars on the weekend," said council member Connie Champion.

Bar owners in favor of changing the ordinance say it would help them bring bigger entertainment acts downtown. Champion said the city has already made exceptions to the ordinance for established entertainment and theater venues.

The issue will go to the Johnson County Auditor's office and come before voters on November 5.

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