Archive for Thursday, June 12, 2003

Hearing set for Sunday liquor sales

June 12, 2003

Richard Brazukas would like to tap into the potential business that drives by his liquor store every Sunday.

Last Thursday, Brazukas asked the city to take advantage of a recent state court ruling that allowed local jurisdictions to offer Sunday alcohol sales. The De Soto City Council agreed to schedule a public hearing on the request at its July 3 meeting.

Should the Council decide to go forward with Sunday liquor sales after the public hearing, it would have to amend its city charter, which would -- in turn -- require voter approval.

Sunday liquor sales became an issue in Kansas last month when a Kansas district court ruled Wyandotte County and Edwardsville could opt out of the state's Sunday liquor ban. Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has appealed the decision to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Despite the appeal, De Soto's eastern neighbors of Lenexa and Shawnee have agreed to put the issue before voters.

De Soto's other liquor store owner, Jerry Sharp, wrote the Council, stating he didn't support Sunday sales because he didn't think De Soto was losing customers to Missouri. Brazukas, owner of Mike's Liquor in the De Soto Business Park off 91st Street, said customers had "deluged" him with inquiries about Sunday sales. That interest and the nature of his customer base prompted him to approach the Council, he said.

"I believe we have different people we serve," Brazukas said. "It is to my benefit to be open on Sunday. We get business from Eudora, from customers at the restaurants (next door), and from off the highway."

Council members didn't express opinions on the merit of Sunday sales, but said they would like to hear those of residents.

"I think we should let the general public as a whole state their opinion," Councilman Tim Maniez said.

With no election scheduled in De Soto until the August 2004 primary, it would require a special election to put the matter before voters in the next 13 months.

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