VILLAGE OF ELLSWORTH SPECIAL BOARD MEETING PROCEEDINGSVILLAGE OF ELLSWORTH, WISCONSIN
VILLAGE OF ELLSWORTH, WISCONSIN
BOARD PROCEEDINGS 2/27/2012
Pres. DeWolfe called the special meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. in the Board Room located in Village Hall.
Members Present: Trustees; Neil Gulbranson; Curt Wandmacher; Michael J. Steele; Rick Sweig; Dick Hines and Kenny Manfred
Staff Present: Clerk; Peggy Nelson
Others Present: Att. Robert Loberg, Nilssen's Grocery; Jason Nilssen and Ron Gafner, Brad's Corner Liquor Store employees; Sheila Peterson and Joe Sullivan, Scott Gulbranson, Pat Gutting, Broz Bar; Jason Marks, Century Saloon; Matt Schneider
-"Class A" Retailer's License application (Off-sale beer and intoxicating liquors) Nilssen's Grocery, 157 E. Main St.
-Amend Municipal Code Section 12.06 (2)(c) Quota on "Class A" Retailer's License for off-sale of intoxicating liquors
Recommendation of Health, License, Welfare Committee meeting 2/27/12, 4:30 p.m. Clerk Nelson gave a short report on the committee meeting, those present heard pros and cons on amending the ordinance restricting the quota on "Class A" Retailer's License for off-sale of liquor and wine to 1 for every 2000 population. Letter from Brad Marx, Brad's Corner Liquor Store was put on file. Committee recommendation was to amend the ordinance and grant a "Class A" license to Nilssen's Grocery.
Comments at the board meeting: Neil Gulbranson - nothing has changed from when addressed in 2009. Board in 1999 granted a
license to Brad's Corner Liquor, ordinance was in place and the board gave their word. Businesses make an investment based on the word of the board with ordinances in place. If ordinance is amended it will lower the value of license in town. Again as stated at the committee meeting, liquor is highly regulated in WI. with a
set of separate State Stats. If ordinance is lifted he can see chain stores coming in, current stores will remove chips, candy, etc. and put in liquor, not creating any more jobs. His vote is that the ordinance stay in place.
Jerry DeWolfe - why should government regulate free enterprise,
it opens up business, free enterprise to bring business to Ellsworth, competition. Government restricts too much already. Ellsworth does not restrict other businesses, feels it won't hurt Brad's store as people shop where they want to. People shop at Brad's as he also
sells gas, some people don't want others to see they are buying
liquor, wine or beer. People shop where they want to.
Dick Hines - feels Brad's letter is very unprofessional. He knows that Brad is on vacation and understands where he is coming from.
Jason Marks - agrees with Neil, 1 application is on the agenda but if the ordinance is amended you could be looking at 5-6 more applications if quota is lifted. If passed, people will be coming to request other ordinances be lifted, maybe someone would want to open up a gentlemen's club in town, other businesses would be coming before the board, what would they do then?
Pat Gutting - if you look at Ellsworth and within a 4 mile radius of Ellsworth there are already too many establishments selling liquor, most can already sell beer so why add to it. He does not want to see businesses close.
Kenny Manfred - if license is granted and the liquor store closes putting Brad out of business, jobs are lost but the grocery store would still be able to sell groceries, still be in business.
Matt Schneider - the bars could open up their business to sell off-sale liquor. Other businesses are not as heavily regulated, all are sharing from the same pie, customer base. Adding another license does not add to the tax base, etc.
Curt Wandmacher - if the board did not change ordinances, we would be operating like we did 150 yrs. ago, ordinances are meant to be changed/ amended. Brad competes now with other businesses in town, as far as Brad going out of business, that is up to him to make his business grow, run his business. He questioned if Pamida would have been granted a "Class A" License would they applied if they would still be in business? He referred to Brad's letter submitted to the board, he takes offense on the comment "kill that jerk on S. Maple St.", wants it to be known in the minutes that legal issues could be brought up from this comment once know for sure.
Rick Sweig questioned Att. Robert Loberg how the board decides when the population reaches 4000 who gets the next license, Bob informed the board that they have discretion one way or the other whether or not to grant a license.
Jason Nilssen - told the board that he feels it would not have a negative impact on existing businesses, presenting a couple letters from other grocery chains, reading the one from Wayne's Food Plus/Liquor Store located in Webster, Danbury and Luck. He has more requests for wine than liquor, in talking with friends in Baldwin, they leave town to buy as they don't want to be seen buying these types of items, which takes business out of town. Competition and pricing is good in a town.
Jason Marks - informed the board that in talking with Brad he probably would not go out of business if the grocery store got a "Class A' license, but if more apply and license is granted then he may be in trouble.
After hearing several comments and a lengthy discussion, MS Wandmacher/Sweig to amend ordinance and remove quota, roll call vote taken, Gulbranson, Steele, Hines, Manfred -
no, Wandmacher, Sweig, DeWolfe - yes.
MSC Gulbranson/Manfred to grant a Class "A" Retailer's (Beer) License to Nilssen's Grocery, 157 E. Main St.
Board convened into closed session pursuant to: Wis. Stat. § 19.85(1)(e) for the purpose of deliberating or negotiating the purchasing of public properties, the investing of public funds or conducting other specified public business, whenever competitive or bargaining reasons require a closed session and pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 19.85 (1)(g)for the purpose of conferring with legal counsel for the governmental body who is rendering oral or written advice concerning strategy to be adopted by the body with respect to litigation in which it is or is likely to become
involved: Crossing Meadows Business Park, property litigation update and property interest update Board will return to open session and take action on the closed session item(s), if required.
5:35 p.m. MSC Manfred/Hines to go into closed session, roll call vote taken, unanimous.
5:53 p.m. MSC Steele. Hines to go back into open session, roll call vote taken, unanimous.
MSC Manfred/Wandmacher, 5:55 p.m. Unanimous.
Respectfully submitted: Peggy A. Nelson-Clerk