New alcohol ordinance being discussed in Ephraim

You may not have to wait another 100 years to buy packaged alcohol in Ephraim. Discussion concerning a new Class A alcohol ordinance for Ephraim will continue at its board meeting on August 9th. Similar to its other ordinances, some of the finer details have been getting ironed out before the board eventually votes on them. At the July 12th meeting, much of the discussion was focused on the regulations limiting the “Class A” alcohol license by population or setting a quota per commercial zone. Other restrictions could include determining the amount of square footage for alcohol, giving priority to Ephraim residents, and distance from other similar businesses. The village attorney is expected to determine if the regulations were permissible. At the same time, board members were suggested to understand better how much space is typically dedicated to alcohol at places like grocery stores and convenience marts. Incorporated in the 1800s, Ephraim famously became the last Wisconsin municipality to rid itself of its dry status in 2016. It allowed the village’s restaurants to offer a glass of wine or a bottle of beer with the meals they served. It did not allow people to buy items like cases of beer.


A final decision is also expected to come down on the village’s short-term rental ordinance. According to the village board minutes, approximately 12 hours of public meeting time was used to discuss the topic over the last few months. STR owners in the villages have been defending themselves during the meetings, saying they have been painted by a broad brush in a negative light. 


The Ephraim Village Board meeting is expected to occur at the village hall and on GoToMeeting at 7 p.m.

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