MENDOTA – Mendota has enough liquor licenses and the people don’t want any more. At least that was the consensus among all of those people that spoke during a public forum held before the regular meeting of the Mendota City Council on Sept. 3.
The public forum was held to hear opinions regarding the addition of Class “C” liquor licenses. Class “C” liquor licenses are the minimum class license needed to obtain a video gaming license. In order to obtain a video gaming license, an establishment must be a truck stop or have a liquor license that allows consumption of alcohol on the premises.
Currently, Mendota has four Class “C” licenses and all are taken up. The city asked for the public’s opinion whether to make more Class “C” licenses available. One business that is reportedly interested in a Class “C” liquor license is Sullivan’s Foods.
Steve Breedlove, pastor of Victory Baptist Church, said he has seen what alcohol does to families and there are already enough places in Mendota that a person can gamble and consume alcohol. He questioned why a place like Sullivan’s, where children are with their parents shopping for groceries, would be allowed to serve alcohol. “There’s nothing good that comes out of alcohol,” Breedlove said.
Alan Russell also voiced his opinion against expanding liquor licenses, saying that the city already has enough of them available to the public. He added that the idea of gaming was to enhance restaurants and bars, and not just allowing any business to have gaming and serve liquor.
Joni Zinke is opposed to putting gaming machines and consumption of alcohol in a grocery store where children can see this, adding, “that’s where we shop and our children can go.”
Two women that stated they are recovering alcoholics are against adding more liquor licenses. One would like to see more positive opportunities available for youth in Mendota. The other is fearful for the children in Mendota, which she described as a friendly, small town. She said it’s a shame when things like this come into a town and ruin it. It’s very harmful, she added.
Alderman John Pierson stated that Mendota does not need gambling and alcohol in a grocery store, saying that there are already 19 or 20 places in town where people can gamble.
Mayor David Boelk was pleased with the turnout and the sharing of opinions by the citizens.
“This is the idea of a public forum, to hear your wants and thoughts,” he said. “I really appreciate you showing up and telling us your thoughts. We will take them under advisement.”