VanderWall plan allowing carry-out licenses for smaller towns passes Senate

December 12, 2018

Curt VanderWall

VanderWall plan allowing carry-out licenses for smaller towns passes Senate

LANSING — The Michigan Senate Tuesday unanimously approved state Rep. Curt VanderWall’s (R-Ludington) plan to allow carry-out beer and wine licenses to be issued in towns with populations below 1,000 people.VanderWall is the current representative of the 101st House District and is senator-elect, who will represent the state 35th Senate District.

VanderWall said current law permits one license to sell beer and wine for every 1,000 people living in a given town, but many communities in rural areas are smaller, making them ineligible for carry-out licenses.

“Besides being arbitrary, this limit puts small towns at a disadvantage when it comes to businesses applying for and being issued a license to sell beer and wine,” VanderWall said. “This plan gives rural communities across Michigan another tool to grow their downtowns, provide jobs and improve the state’s economy.”

VanderWall noted there are communities in almost every county that currently do not qualify for a beer and wine retail license, which is detrimental to towns looking to add retail options for their residents.  Due to the limits of current law, 45 municipalities in VanderWall’s district are ineligible to obtain a carry-out beer and wine license.

“This first came to my attention when an individual wanted to reopen the Bonser’s grocery store in Custer, but learned there was no a beer and wine license available due to the town’s population,” VanderWall said. “Because of that prohibition, the possibility of having a local grocery store in Custer again stalled. Hopefully this can rekindle that project.”

House Bill 5719 now advances to the governor for consideration.

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