Archive for Thursday, July 17, 2003

Basehor won’t support Sunday sales

City of Tonganoxie undecided on possible liquor ordinance

July 17, 2003

I told you once, I told you twice.

After voting down an ordinance of its own last month, the Basehor City Council reached a consensus Monday night not to support a possible Leavenworth County ordinance allowing the Sunday sales of packaged liquor.

The three-member Leavenworth County Commission asked cities to weigh in on whether they would be in favor of the county opting out of the 1949 Liquor Control Act, which prohibits the sale of packaged liquor on Sundays.

Lansing and Leavenworth have approved opting out of the law; Basehor and Tonganoxie are two of the few remaining cities in the area banning Sunday sales, complying with state laws.

An informal vote taken Monday night, indicated three City Council members -- Bill Hooker, Iris Dysart and John Bonee, all whom voted no last month -- would not support the county ordinance. City Council president Julian Espinoza, who voted favorably last month, was the lone vote supporting the proposal.

Although voting no, Bonee asked the City Council consider the issue again should the county approve its ordinance.

"If they pass it, that would be unfair competition, to me," Bonee said. "I see the advantages and the arguments of both.

"But I hate to see our businesses unfairly competed against," he added.

The unfair market Bonee referred to stems from a scenario that could prove likely should the county approve a Sunday sales ordinance. Both Basehor and Tonganoxie have a liquor store inside the city limits but also liquor stores in the county less than a half mile away.

In Basehor, Shorty's Liquor Store, located inside the Basehor Town Square at 155th Street and State Avenue, is located just across the highway from J.B.'s Liquor Store, which is not within the city limits.

In Tonganoxie, J.R.'s Liquor Store located on State Avenue, is just a half-mile from Angell's Liquor, located in the county on County Road 16.

An approved countywide ordinance could mean two liquor stores separated by just a few blocks would be allowed to open on different times and days. A county-approved Sunday sales ordinance would not supercede Basehor or Tonganoxie's compliance with state laws.

It's a problem both the Basehor and Tonganoxie City Councils wrestled with Monday night.

While Basehor would not support the county proposal, the Tonganoxie City Council could not reach a consensus opinion at its meeting Monday, July 14.

Tonganoxie city administrator Shane Krull said he would send a letter to the county commission telling the board "that there is mixed feelings and a decision could not be reached at this time."

"There really isn't a strong feeling one way or the other right now," Krull said.

The county commission decided to pursue Sunday sales in late June following a presentation from Tonganoxie lawyer Mike Kelly, who proposed a countywide Sunday sales ordinance. Kelly represents at least one liquor store owner, Bernard Dugan, who owns J.B.'s Liquor Store at 18731 155th Street.

No timetable has been set on when the county commission will make a decision regarding Sunday sales.

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