Sunday liquor OK in Winton

Neighbor breaks ranks with Ely and immediately permits off-sale

by Tom Coombe
People no longer have to drive out of the Ely area to buy a case of beer or bottle of wine on Sundays.
While the city of Ely has declined to take advantage of a new state law allowing Sunday off-sale liquor purchases, the city of Winton is taking a different approach.
In a unanimous vote, the Winton council approved Sunday liquor sales.
The provision takes affect immediately and off-sale purchases will be allowed at Winton’s only liquor retailer- the Winton Roadhouse.
“They can start this Sunday,” said city clerk Anne Jackson.
While Ely liquor retailers pressured city council members to keep its Sunday ban, sentiment was apparently different in neighboring Winton.
Jackson said the measure was approved with no opposition.
State law changed this year to allow liquor stores to be open on Sunday, but home-rule charter cities have their own discretion on the matter.
Jackson said that Winton is following state statute, permitting off-sale operations on Sundays between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Many liquor retailers in rural areas opposed the change in state law, contending it would have little impact on sales and drive up labor costs for small businesses.
While Ely remains “dry” on Sundays, at least for off-sale purchases, Winton joins Babbitt in allowing Sunday sales.