Osakis Municipal not interested in Sunday off-saleState Rep. Franson doesn’t support lifting Sunday liquor sales ban
By: Amy Chaffins, The Osakis Review
A bill has been drafted in St. Paul to eliminate the state’s ban on off-sale liquor sales on Sundays.
Buzz about the bill has rippled out into Greater Minnesota, and while it may be appealing to some consumers, local municipal liquor store manager Julie Blair said she’s opposed to the Sunday sale proposal.
“I don’t think the profits will exceed the expenditures. In a bigger community maybe it will work, but not here, especially in the winter,” she said.
During a Saturday in the dead of winter, Blair said the store could sell as little as four cases of beer and two bottles of liquor.
Blair said, an extra day of business means additional operating costs and a couple cases of beer is not going to cover her costs.
“Things pick up around here in the summer, but not enough to help pay electricity and wages.”
In area newspapers, some liquor store operators have been quoted saying they cherish that day off each week.
That’s not Blair’s reason for opposing Sunday liquor sales.
“I would definitely work [Sunday] if it would be beneficial for the city of Osakis,” she said.
Carol Lanigan, manager of Alexandria’s municipal liquor stores agrees with Blair and said, “All in all, I don’t think it would be worth it.”
Both Blair and Lanigan said they understand that Sunday off-sale liquor sales might be a boost for stores along the state’s borders, where consumers zip over to Wisconsin, Iowa or the Dakotas to buy liquor on Sundays, but not here in central Minnesota.
“If that happens, municipals are done for,” Lanigan said. “Those big chain stores can buy in bulk and we couldn’t compete with their prices.”
When asked for her thoughts on the Sunday sales proposal, State Representative Mary Franson replied to the Osakis Review via e-mail: “I am not open to Sunday liquor sales as it would only spread revenue out over seven days. Minnesota liquor buyers know to purchase their items of choice on Fridays and Saturdays if they plan on drinking on Sundays. These business owners want to spend the Sabbath with their families and I can appreciate that philosophy.”
The law banning off-sale liquor sales in Minnesota has been on the books since the late 1800s.