Archive for Thursday, September 8, 2005

Convenience stores to get Sunday beer sales

September 8, 2005

Beginning Nov. 20, liquor stores in Lansing will face a bit of competition on Sundays.

The Lansing City Council, in a 6-0 vote Thursday, approved a charter ordinance that continues to allow the sale of packaged liquor on Sundays and extends Sunday sales to convenience stores and other licensed outlets to sell cereal malt beverages - 3.2 percent beer.

Since July 2003, liquor stores in Lansing have been able to open on Sundays. Lansing was one of several Kansas communities to approve Sunday sales 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-empted most of those ordinances. The new law requires cities to "opt in" to Sunday sales, to have uniform hours of operations and to extend the option of Sunday sales to retailers that offer cereal malt beverages.

Thursday, the council decided to opt in.

No members of the public spoke at Thursday's council meeting about the issue, and council members had little discussion before approving the measure.

Under the newly adopted charter ordinance:

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

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

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

Currently, 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.

The ordinance goes into effect Nov. 15 - a Tuesday. The first Sunday in which convenience stores will be able to sell beer in the city will be Nov. 20.

The charter ordinance is subject to a 60-day protest period in which opponents could gather the signatures of registered voters seeking a public referendum on the issue. More than 130 valid signatures would be needed to force an election.

Council members David Trinkle Jr. and Dee Hininger were absent Thursday.

In other action Thursday, the council:

¢ Approved minutes from the Aug. 18 meeting, 5-0-1 with Council member Kenneth Ketchum abstaining.

¢ Appointed Mayor Kenneth Bernard, Council member Robert Ulin and City Administrator Mike Smith as voting delegates to the League of Kansas Municipalities Annual Conference, Oct. 8-11, in Wichita.

¢ Met in executive session for 10 minutes to discuss land acquisitions and third-party financing. Afterwards, the council voted 6-0 to direct Bernard to continue with unspecified negotiations. After the meeting, Smith said negotiations were with Speedway Motors and involved the East Eisenhower Road improvement project.

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