Retail sales of alcohol on Sunday will be coming to Newton, with voters deciding to allow for Sunday Sales during the Nov. 5 city/school election.
Voters voted 2,296 to 1,293 to allow for Sunday sales. The first date of those sales could be Nov. 17.
"Our customers were telling us they were driving to Park City, Halstead and Valley Center to get adult beverages on Sundays," said Murray Anderson, owner of Anderson Retail Liquor. "It was time. This is 2019. Wichita passed it 14 years ago."
A successful protest petition was certified in April by the Harvey County Clerk that trigged a ballot question about Sunday sales of alcohol in Newton.
The city commission put forth an ordinance that would allow for retail outlets to sell alcohol on Sundays. During a 60-day protest period, community organizers collected signatures to protest the ordinance and trigger a public vote.
Numbers given to Commissioner Glen Davis by city staff in April tracked $2.7 million in sales outside of Newton to consumers from the Newton ZIP code.
“Last year liquor sales, beer, wine and liquor, was $7.2 million,” Davis said. “What we lost on Sunday sales ... we lost $2.7 million in sales in the city of Newton. I want to give that information out. That is quite a little bit of money.”
"Our customers buying habits have changed. It used to be, before any towns allowed Sunday Sales, that our customers would 'stock up' on Saturday, if they knew they had an event, the ballgame, people coming over on Sunday," Anderson said. "Now, our society is more mobile and demands convenience. Look at the order online phenomenon."
The ballot question read: “Within the City of Newton shall sale at retail of cereal malt beverage in the original package be allowed on any Sunday, except Easter, between the hours of 12 noon and 8 p.m. and shall the sale at retail of alcoholic liquor in the original package be allowed on any Sunday, except Easter, between the hours of 12 noon and 8 p.m. and Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day?”