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Montevideo Council approves liquor ordinance changes

MONTEVIDEO -- City Council members in Montevideo adopted a series of changes Monday to liquor ordinances in the community.

One of the changes could make Sunday liquor sales possible.

Council members at their meeting on Monday voted to put the issue of Sunday liquor to the voters in the November general election, said City Manager Steve Jones. They also approved changes in the city's liquor ordinances to make Sunday liquor sales possible if voters approve the measure.

The possibility of Sunday liquor is motivated by a desire to put establishments within the community on an equal footing with competitors located outside of the city. There are a number of establishments outside the city limits, including one as near as one-fourth mile from the city line, that offer Sunday liquor sales under county-approved licenses.

Council members also voted Monday to reduce the fee structure for liquor licenses to be more competitive with the fees charged outside the city. They lowered the license fee from $2,100 to $1,500, and reduced the fee for a second license from $500 to $250.

Council members also adopted a new set of fees for violations. They are the same fees as now assessed for violations of the city's tobacco ordinances.

Council members considered but did not approve a change that would have allowed liquor sales at live theater performances. City attorney Janice Nelson told the members that under current state statue, she does not believe a theater is an eligible entity for a license in a city with a municipal liquor store.

In other business, council members approved a request by Jennessa Runia of Girl Scout Troop 3662 to develop a sign promoting the Chippewa and Minnesota Rivers. It will be placed east of the Chippewa River dam in the Smith Addition.

Council members also discussed the efforts by Prairie Waters and the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission to promote tourism in the region with Kristi Fernholz, tourism planner with the Regional Development Commission.

The members also recognized Police Officer Rohn Halvorson for being selected the Law Officer of the Year by the Minnesota Department of the America Legion.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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