Liquor licenses are often among the biggest expenses involved with opening a bar or restaurant. So, what if the amount you're expected to pay was multiplied fourteen times?
A proposal to do just that came before Brandon's City Council, Monday night.
This was just the first of two readings for this particular ordinance to increase the license fee, it passed 4-2.
The city is looking at raising the fee from $8,785 to $125,000.
It's a heated debate between the city and many of its citizens with no signs of slowing down.
The new ordinance proposes a higher fee in a town of less than 9,000 people. It would mean $14.23/person in Brandon. Sioux Falls sits at $1.25.
People opposed to the change say it makes no sense.
"Brandon is not Sioux Falls. If should be closer to a dollar, maybe even $1.25 per person. $14 is not feasible, it makes me angry. It's not realistic," Sheila Anderson said.
She supports Ann Evangelisto, the only person to apply and pay for a license in Brandon while she waits two years for approval. She wants to open a bar/grill right by her current business Brandon First Stop.
Several other people showed up to support her and some even spoke, detailing their frustration.
If Brandon is about growth, competition and new business - they say - they're going to need more new businesses.
"If Brandon grows, we get more business and more options. People will stay in Brandon, they'll shop in Brandon. They'll Buy Brandon," Anderson said.
Four of six council members who support a growing community also support this ordinance.
"In the last 10 years, the city of Brandon has seen an awful lot of growth. With the census, it's our job to determine what the liquor license fee is. It's a task," Council Member Blaine Jones said.
Sunday, April 20 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-04-21 02:30:09 GMT
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