The Pleasant Grove City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday night to allow the continued sale of beer on Sundays in local convenience stores. The proposed amendment to also allow the sale of beer on Sundays through a drive-up window, however, was rejected by the council.
Several residents and local business owners expressed their concern that the council would be overstepping its boundaries by limiting beer sales on Sunday, which previously had not been prohibited. However, no store owners were selling beer on Sundays.
That changed recently when B.J. Hoskin, the owner of B.J.'s Short Stop, started selling beer on Sunday. Hoskin explained to the council that he had read in the ordinances that nothing prevented him from selling beer on Sundays.
Hoskin then said that because of the slow economy, he was trying to boost his bottom line in any way possible. His Sunday beer sales in the two weekends he has been selling has been equal to his average Saturday sales. He added that those sales also mean revenue for the city.
Councilman Val Danklef commented that, "I would personally prefer that nothing be open on Sunday, but I don't feel it is the role of local government to take away the livelihood of our citizens."
City attorney Tina Petersen explained to the council and a packed room that there are several different types of liquor licenses that are regulated by various entities.
"Off-premise beer licenses are the responsibility of the local municipality to regulate," she said.
She went on to say that the council had asked her to craft an ordinance that would prohibit the sale of beer in convenience stores on Sunday, as well as not allowing any such sales in drive-up windows.
Mayor Bruce Call said that he felt it important that beer sales be prohibited on Sundays. He also said that he "stood by his prior comments" in that his support for the ordinance to stop Sunday sales is in line with the wishes and culture of the community. Call said that he did not agree that "culture is a code word for religion," as Councilman Lee Jensen had stated.