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North Logan changes city ordinance; Sunday beer sales permitted

September 9th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

Story and photo by Chelsea Hunter

NORTH LOGAN — Customers will now be able to buy beer on Sunday in North Logan.

In order to accommodate the Tesoro Best Stop on 2500 North and U.S. Highway 91,  the City Council voted to lift the Sunday ban on beer sales. The Tesoro store was previously located within Logan boundaries, where Sunday beer sales are allowed. However, due to boundary changes among North Logan, Logan and Hyde Park, effective within the next two months, the Tesoro is now part of North Logan, where Sunday sales have been prohibited.

The North Logan City Council has changed the law, permitting beer sales on Sunday within the city. Photo by Chelsea Hunter.

Dave Bessinger, owner of the Tesoro, told the council that 19 percent of his sales are from beer alone, with Sunday being his most lucrative day of the week. If he was unable to sell beer on Sunday he worries his business will suffer.

“The taxes are outrageous,” Bessinger said. He pays $53,000 in property taxes alone each year, he said. If his store was to be closed on Sunday it would drive customers out of town to other convenience stores, which would cause him to lose income and could result in his store closing, leaving North Logan with only one convenience store.

“I am approaching this from a really strong, philosophical opinion,” Mayor Lloyd Berentzen said. “I feel when there is increased access, I believe there is increased problems. You can be as responsible as anyone selling it, but that doesn’t mean the individual is going to be responsible in their use.”

Most of the council agreed the biggest issue with off-premises alcohol is that the convenience store has no control once it leaves the premises. If someone is drinking on premises at a restaurant, the establishment has some control. Restaurants that sell alcohol train their employees what to watch for and when to cut off the customer’s alcohol consumption.

“I think that if Logan was not currently allowing Sunday alcohol sales, I would be strongly inclined to hold the line on this,” Councilman Damon Cann said. “I don’t see this being an effective policy with curbing access for consumption when you can go a mile or two down the road and still get access to it. It’s just not clear to me how alcohol sales restriction is really going to help significant problems with alcohol.”

Cann said that if the council did take action and remove the restriction of beer sales on Sunday, he would like to see very vigorous enforcement of alcohol policies. He wants to make sure that the city keeps under-aged people from getting their hands on alcohol.

“Personally, I don’t have a problem with it,” Councilwoman Nancy Potter said. “It’s not illegal. The state says you can sell it on Sunday, and he is being moved from Logan to North Logan because of a boundary change, and we want to be business-friendly.”

After much discussion the council voted to allow the sale of beer on Sundays. All voted in favor except Councilman John Bailey, who abstained from voting.

“I have a hard time dissecting out my personal feelings about alcohol consumption in general,” Bailey said. “The thing I’m struggling with is how much of an impact we’d make by either restricting it for one day or expanding it to the seventh.”

The council agreed this was a very significant decision for North Logan because not only does it allow Tesoro to continue to sell beer on Sundays, but also opens it up to the Walmart and Top Stop for Sunday sales.



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