Sept. 11, 2006

Strong liquor to be on Cokato's ballot

By Lynda Jensen, Editor

Strong liquor will be placed on the fall ballot for Cokato voters to decide as the result of a petition drive made recently.

The petition garnered 205 valid signatures, reported Gloria Gooler of the Wright County Auditor’s Office.

The minimum requirement is 200 signatures from registered voters. Resident Matt Stumpf presented additional signatures last Monday after the initial attempt came up short by 48 signatures.

“Now, it’s up to the city and its attorney to come up with the legal language,” Gooler said.

According to a letter from Wright County Auditor/Treasurer Bob Hiivala, the petition may prompt a city ordinance “allowing an establishment to purchase a liquor license to allow (the sale of) On/Off Sale (liquor products in the City of Cokato)” – pending the results of the election.

From here, the city attorney will formulate a question for the ballot, said Administrator Don Levens.

The city has until Friday, Sept. 15 to turn in the ballot question language to the auditor’s office.

The petition was set into motion by Stumpf, who asked the Cokato council to place the question on the ballot.

Previously, the council voted down placing doing this. However, the petition can do this despite the council’s action.

On-sale licenses pertain to restaurants or bars that serve liquor which is consumed on the premises.

Off sale pertains to liquor stores that sell products which are carried out the door and consumed elsewhere.

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