Archive for Thursday, September 1, 2005

City to revisit Sunday liquor sales

Convenience stores, customers could be beneficiaries of changes in state law

September 1, 2005

Allowing Sunday beer sales in convenience stores won't be a huge bonanza for Petro-Deli.

But the way Petro-Deli co-owner Cindy Jaccard sees it, allowing convenience stores to compete with liquor stores for Sunday sales is an issue of fairness.

At its meeting today, Sept. 1, the Lansing City Council will discuss a charter ordinance that continues liquor stores' ability to remain open on Sundays and some holidays in Lansing. The ordinance also would allow Sunday sales of cereal malt beverages - 3.2 percent beer, wine coolers and the like - in grocery stores, convenience stores and other retail outlets.

"It would not make us rich," Jaccard said earlier this week about Sunday beer sales at Petro-Deli, 601 S. Main St., "but it would give us a fair advantage with the liquor stores.

"It doesn't make much sense to me that we can't sell beer when they can," she said.

Liquor stores in Lansing have been able to open on Sundays with the council's blessing since June 2003, City Clerk Karen Logan said. The action came after a state judge decided Kansas Liquor Control Act did not uniformly apply to all communities. The ruling allowed cities and counties to adopt charter ordinances to opt out of the portion of the act that banned liquor sales on Sundays.

But a new law passed on the last day of the 2005 Legislature's veto session pre-empts most of those ordinances. The new law doesn't take away cities' abilities to allow Sunday liquor sales, but it requires cities to opt in to Sunday sales, to have uniform hours of operations and to extend the ability for Sunday sales to retailers that offer cereal malt beverages.

Under the proposed charter ordinance:

¢ Cereal malt beverages could be sold in the city from noon to 8 p.m. on any Sunday, except Easter.

¢ Packaged liquor could be sold in the city from noon to 8 p.m. on any Sunday, except Easter.

¢ Packaged liquor sales would be allowed only on three national holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

Currently, Logan said, Lansing allows liquor stores to operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays and the only holiday sales restrictions for liquor stores are Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Any changes in the law would take effect Nov. 15, she said.

Don Saunders, director of operations for Wood Oil's corporate offices, said he would welcome the opportunity to be able to sell beer on Sundays at Wood Oils' Lansing store, 109 4-H Road.

"Any additional sales I can generate right now, with the way gasoline is, I'll take," he said.

Representatives of the two liquor stores in town could not be reached for comment.

Because the proposal is a charter ordinance, it would be subject to a 60-day protest period in which opponents could gather the signatures of registered voters seeking a public referendum on the issue. Opponents would have to get upwards of 130 signatures to force an election.

Council member Andi Pawlowski said she didn't expect any serious opposition to the proposal. None surfaced when the issue came up in 2003, she said.

"I'm not much of a drinker, but if you want beer on Sunday, why should you have to go to Missouri?" she said.

The council meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 800 First Terrace.

Here the agenda:

Consent calendar

¢ Consider minutes from the council's Aug. 18 meeting.

New business:

¢ Consider electing three voting delegates to this year's League of Kansas Municipalities Annual Conference, Oct. 8-11 in Wichita. Attending from Lansing this year will be Mayor Kenneth Bernard, Council member Robert Ulin and City Administrator Mike Smith.

¢ Consider a charter ordinance related to Sunday liquor sales.

¢ Hear reports from city administrators and council members.

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