No Repeal and No Deal for MotoMart

Despite MotoMart’s recent efforts, the city of Neenah, Wis., refused to repeal its ban on alcohol sales in convenience stores.

The Neenah, Wis. Common Council turned down MotoMart’s request to repeal the city’s ban on c-store alcohol sales on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

The Post Crescent Online reported that the Common Council voted 8-1 to deny the appeal. Had the council approved this request, the number of stores selling alcohol in Neenah would have been raised from nine to 21.

“I have not heard anybody say — other than from a couple of businesses over the years that are looking at their bottom line — that we should double the number of places where alcohol is available,” Neenah Mayor George Scherck  told the The Post Crescent Online.

MotoMart argued that the ban puts Neenah convenience stores at a competitive disadvantage with similar stores in neighboring communities like Menasha and the Town of Menasha.

One local resident, Bob Lace, pleaded to the council to uphold the ban. “When you sell alcohol and gas at the same time, subconsciously you are saying it’s OK to drink and drive,” Lace said. “There is absolutely no reason to change this ordinance.”

Ald. Nick Piergrossi was alone when he voted “no” on upholding the ban. Piergrossi said he did not have enough facts to show that selling alcohol at c-stores contributes more to drinking and driving than it does when sold at grocery or liquor stores.

“Given that, I would err on the side of liberty and allow businesses to conduct business in a free-market situation,” Piergrossi said.

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