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Buying beer on Sundays now legal in Wellsville

February 18th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Noelle Johansen

WELLSVILLE — The City Council agreed to allow Sunday beer sales in Wellsville after a public hearing Wednesday night.

Wellcome Mart manager Cheryl Zesiger said beer is 35 to 45 percent of sales for Wellcome Mart, aside from gasoline. Wellsville surrenders revenue to surrounding cities by not selling beer on Sundays, she said.

“We turn a lot of people away on Sunday because we can’t sell beer,” Zesiger said. She questioned the limitations on early morning beer sales as well. She said she felt, as a mother, amending the code on beer sales was a difficult decision to make. “I know it’s hard,” Zesiger said, “Times are changing.”

Councilman Ron Case said those who want beer on Sundays will get it, whether Wellsville sells it or not.

“I don’t think we’re preventing anyone from drinking beer on Sundays,” Bruce Miller, co-owner of Wellcome Mart said. Wellcome Mart is located on Main Street in Wellsville.

Wellsville was not the only city that restricted the sale of beer on Sundays. “It used to be countywide,” Case said. “I think we’re the only ones left that don’t.”

The council unanimously voted to amend the city code to conform to the state code on hours of beer sales and the allowance of beer sales on Sundays.

Beer will not be sold on the premises of the Medieval Living History site if built, said Steve Simmons, retired educator and past owner of the Somerville Manor in Idaho. The Somerville Manor was Simmon’s first history site. He has since sold the property.

“We will not sell it no matter how much money is involved,” Simmons said of selling alcohol. He said the emphasis of the proposed history site is an educational, family experience. It would be a prime option for camping and field trips

Simmons and his nephew, Shaun Gooch, met with the council to discuss the possibility of building the Medieval Living History site in Wellsville. Simmons said if everything financial works out, he’d like to start building in spring or summer. “I feel very hopeful that the financing will come together,” Simmons said. “We believe that it is a very viable business.”

Mayor Thomas Bailey said the history site would be a better option than building homes on the land in question. Most of the land would be left as pasture and would not be irrigated. A pond would be filled during winter and spring runoff, and then maintained once filled, Simmons said.

“We’re going to use a lot less water than if someone were to subsidize,” Simmons said. The proposed project would require about 520 of the more than 700 available acres.

“To me, this is huge for Wellsville,” Councilman Jackie Orton said.


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