PROVO -- A recent email from a local business owner to Provo Councilman Rick Healey has once again raised the question about whether Provo should allow beer sales on Sunday.
According to Wayne Parker, Provo's chief administrative officer, the no beer or alcohol sales have been a way of life in Provo. "We started with no beer sold ever, and we started chipping away at it," Parker said. "No beer sales on Sunday was a concession for the community."
That concession was more culturally motivated than political, according to Parker. When Healey introduced the idea during Tuesday's work session, he added that he would love to readdress the Sunday beer sales discussion.
"I don't have a problem with it," Healey said. "To have a shelf shut down in the store doesn't make sense. For some people Sundays are the day they shop."
In order to keep residents from buying beer on Sunday, every week grocery and convenience stores put signs up warning of no beer sales on Sunday. Refrigerated cases where folks can grab a cold six-pack during the other six days of the week are covered with cardboard or other coverings to remind customers of the decades-long tradition of no Sunday beer.
Councilman Sterling Beck commented, "We're on a slippery slope here. But one day prohibition will end in Provo."
Councilwoman Sherrie Hall Everett responded, "You mean the end of Provo-bition?"
Orem to the north and Provo are no-Sunday-beer hold-outs. Springville gave the nod to Sunday beer sales in 2001.
"We're losing revenue," Beck said. "It's a no-brainer. People are driving through our city to get to Springville so they can buy their beer."
At the same time the council looks at Sunday beer sales, it will also be looking at the complete ordinance. Some things such as the hours that overnight beer sales are prohibited are not in alignment with the state law. There are also concerns on how to handle beer sales on New Year's Day, which is on Sunday this coming January.
"I want the rationale on why we're different," Healey said. With that he called for a vote on whether the council would like to pursue the subject.
The council voted 5-0 to bring the issue forward to the Sept. 20 study session.