Sunday liquor fails in city of Paynesville

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 11/15/00.

The proposal to allow liquor to be served on Sundays in the city of Paynesville failed by a margin of 26 votes.

This was the first time the question had been but before the city of Paynesville voters.

There were 534 voters opposed to businesses being able to serve liquor on Sunday and 508 in favor.

Pastor Ric Koehn of the Grace United Methodist Church was surprised at the closeness of the vote but he was very glad it did not pass.

"If our only concern as a community is economics, how much money do we lose because liquor cannot be sold on Sunday, then we have some major problems," Koehn said. "This community will survive without Sunday liquor sales. In fact, it might be blessed in ways that we can never fully appreciate," he added.

Pastor Lonnie Gleitz of Crystal Hills Assembly said the Paynesville Minis-terial Association strongly opposed Sunday liquor sales.

"I'm happy it did not pass. If people want to drink on Sunday, they can drink at home," Gleitz said. Families are distracted with so much stuff that parents should be spending quality time with their children on Sundays, he added.

"I believe there was a strong interest in the issue," said Doris Wendlandt, owner of Queen Bee's Bar and Grill who asked the city council for the referendum.

The voter turnout was fantastic, she added. Despite the votes failure, Wendlandt was happy to see so many show up to vote on the issue.

Wendlandt feels the community needs to work together to keep people shopping and doing business in Paynesville. "If Paynesville cannot provide what they want, people will drive to another town where it is available," Wendlandt said.

Lucy Hoppe, bar manager at the Paynesville American Legion, was also surprised at the closeness of the vote.

Hoppe would like to have the option to be open on Sunday. "It really doesn't affect us. The Legion would not have the regular bar open. But it would be nice to use the bar for anniversary or special occasion parties in the banquet room," she added.

Being in the food business, Wendlandt has considered being open Sundays, but doesn't feel it is feasible at this time. Wendlandt is considering asking the council to put the question to a vote again.

According to state law, a city can vote on the Sunday liquor issue every six months.

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