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Council OKs Sunday liquor sales

Petition can force referendum

Staff writer

Hillsboro City Council voted Tuesday to allow cereal malt beverage and liquor sales on Sundays.

Don Vinduska, owner of R&D Liquor, was in the store on a recent Sunday and noticed several potential customers approaching the store until they realized it was closed. Because of that, he requested the city consider allowing sales on Sundays. Marion County and the City of Marion allow sales on Sundays.

Mayor Delores Dalke said there had previously been requests to allow sale of cereal malt beverages on Sundays, but at those times neither Marion nor the county allowed Sunday sales, so the council rejected those requests. There was no liquor store in Hillsboro at the time, she said.

Council members Bob Watson and Byron McCarty said they had mixed emotions about the proposal. McCarty said it would be a smart business decision, but he recognized it would likely be controversial.

“I think it’s a good deal for the city and businesses out there because it allows more sales,” McCarty said.

People determined to drink on Sundays will find a way, either by stocking up ahead of time or going out of town, council member Shelby Dirks said.

McCarty and council member Kevin Suderman noted that people opposed to the change may file a petition to force a referendum on the matter.

The council voted 3-1 to approve the ordinance. Watson was opposed.

“I’ll tell you, since I’ve been on the council, that Sunday liquor was the hardest decision I’ve made,” McCarty said after the meeting.

He said he wouldn’t have voted for it if there wasn’t an opportunity for people to petition against the ordinance.

Council members were unsure of the requirements for a petition to call a referendum. After the meeting, City Attorney Dan Baldwin researched the state statute, K.S.A. 41-911. A petition must include a number of signatures equal to or greater than 5 percent of the number of voters in the city in the previous presidential election.

A total of 1,247 Hillsboro residents voted in the 2008 presidential election, so a petition would require signatures of at least 63 qualified voters. The petition must be filed within 60 days of publication of the ordinance in the city’s official newspaper, the Hillsboro Star-Journal .

In other business:

  • The city’s property and liability insurance premiums with IMA of Wichita increased from $58,760 to $60,338, a 2.68 percent increase. Most of the increase was because of increases in insured property values, IMA representative Debbie Brevik said.
  • Engineering and financing work for street projects to include Adams Street between U.S. 56 and the former railroad right of way, First Street between Ash and Adams streets, and Industrial Road from U.S. 56 to the railroad were approved.
  • A survey proposal by Ranson Financial was approved at a cost not to exceed $7,500. The survey will determine whether the city is eligible for Community Development Block Grants to pay for street projects on First Street between Ash and Adams streets, Birch Street between D Street and Grand Avenue, Cedar Street between D and Third streets, and Date Street between D Street and Grand Avenue.
  • Marlin Janzen was appointed to Hillsboro Housing Authority.
  • Eric Driggers was appointed to Hillsboro Planning Commission.
  • Wiebe Siding and Remodeling will make repairs to city building windows for $6,989, contingent on the design matching existing windows. Jantz Construction bid more than $10,000, City Administrator Larry Paine said.

The next regular meeting will be 4 p.m. April 5.

Last modified March 17, 2011

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