Archive for Thursday, June 26, 2003

Leavenworth County reviews liquor sales

County officials to open dialogue with area cities on packaged liquor proposal

June 26, 2003

The Leavenworth County Commission will begin canvassing area cities, gauging those municipalities' interest in allowing Sunday package liquor sales throughout the county.

Last Thursday, the three-member County Commission heard a presentation from Tonganoxie attorney 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 St.

The county commission made no decision during the hearing, instead choosing to involve cities in the process.

After Kansas City, Kan., and Edwardsville did so last year, several area cities recently have tested the waters of opting out of the 1949 Liquor Control Act, which prohibits the sale of packaged liquor on Sundays.

Many of those cities -- Lansing, Leavenworth and Bonner Springs among them -- have found those waters warm.

Most recently, Lansing and Leavenworth, which border the Kansas/Missouri state line, approved Sunday sales ordinances. Leavenworth even went a step further by approving Sunday sales of cereal malt beverages, 3.2 percent volume alcohol, which is also banned from sale on Sundays.

The Basehor City Council was scheduled to decide on a Sunday sales ordinance during its meeting Monday, June 23 (see related story, page 1A). The city of Tonganoxie voted down a similar proposal.

Kelly told county commissioners his clients are at an unfair advantage by being prohibited from opening on Sundays, while competing against stores open on those days.

Leavenworth County Commission chairman Joe Daniels said letters have been sent to cities in the county, asking for input on a countywide Sunday sales ordinance.

"There's got to be good consideration given to it because it's what's going on in other communities," Daniels said. "If Basehor approves theirs and the other is right across the street and one could sell and one couldn't, that would give the other store an advantage."

"We would be remiss if we failed to include (area cities) in the discussion," he added.

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