Ordinance would match state law, appease owner of village’s gas stations and convenience stores
Pending an ordinance approval, the Village of Belgium will be extending its alcohol sales hours to meet the state schedule.
Sukhdev Gill and his family, owners of the BP and Mobil gas stations and convenience stores in the village, had been lobbying for the change since January. After the Public Safety Committee initially turned down the request, it sent it to the Village Board for discussion Monday night.
The village allows alcohol sales from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
State law allows beer sales from 6 a.m. to midnight and liquor sales from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Gill said competing stations in Saukville and the Town of Wilson allow sales during state law hours and said people traveling at night or after Green Bay Packers games, as well as Illinois residents looking for Spotted Cow beer that’s only sold in Wisconsin are inconvenienced with having to buy alcohol elsewhere.
Gill presented the board with a petition of signatures of people seeking the extended hours.
Trustee Gail Kowalkowski said she was concerned since she noticed some of the petition’s signers are under 21. Gill said he had the petition sitting out and did not check ID of those signing it.
Board President Vickie Boehnlein said the village is not obligated to change its ordinance based on what other communities do, but said she doesn’t want to provide a disadvantage to taxpaying businesses. She said she knows early morning fishermen like to buy beer before 8 a.m. when the village allows sales.
“There may not be a benefit to the village but may not be a danger,” Boehnlein said.
The Public Safety Committee in January argued against extending the hours. Former committee and Village Board members Wayne Lambrecht and Andy Ohlson said they saw no benefit to the village and would not send a recommendation to the board. Lambrecht said he was concerned people already intoxicated would buy more alcohol. The third committee member, Dale Pfeifer, was absent.
At the July Public Safety Committee meeting, Pfeifer, Kowalkowski and Pete Anzia decided to allow Gill to present his case to the Village Board.
The board on Monday voted 5-0 to approve the extended sale hours to match state law. Kowalkowski abstained.
Village Attorney Gerry Antoine said he will bring an ordinance with the new hours to the September board meeting, when trustees could approve it and make the change official.