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Cherokee County voters to decide liquor sales issue - KOAM TV 7

Cherokee County voters to decide liquor sales issue

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In less than two weeks Cherokee County voters will decide a question that has the potential to boost business and increase revenue for the county.  The ballot issue deals with the issue of alcohol sales.

Right now the sale of liquor, other than beer, with a 3.2 alcohol content is only available at private clubs within Cherokee County.

But after the November election restaurants across the county could begin selling liquor by the drink without maintaining the state regulated percentage of alcohol to food sales.

Richard Sanell is the owner of Cafe on the Route in Baxter Springs.  In 2009 he asked commissioners a question about selling wine with meals at his establishment.

"The question was 'what would it take to change the law?' - that's all I asked, just to find out, just to get the ball rolling, just to see if it was even possible," says Sanell.

Flash forward to the 2012 election and that question is coming up to Cherokee County voters.

The ballot question asks whether or not the sale of alcoholic liquor by an individual drink should be allowed in public places without a requirement that any portion of their gross receipts be from the sale of food.

"It's not saying you have to do any of this, you can bypass all of it, you can still go to McDonalds, you can come here.  You don't have to have an alcoholic drink.  It just says you have the choice to have one."

Cherokee County is one of less than 20 counties in Kansas that is considered dry.

Sanell says while it gives options, he says he will not be seeing a huge increase due to his liquor sales, if passed.

"I think it just adds.  I don't think it's going to be some big awakening, you know.  But I do think that what it does, is it just means that we're closer to the pack of everyone else."

He says it's another set of tax revenue the county will be able to benefit, which could be in the thousands of dollars.

Commissioners say this could also potentially put them in competition with neighboring counties and could retain some business.

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