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Commission considers first liquor license for Stark County

Stark County commissioners will revisit next month issuing the county's first liquor license not within a city limit.

County Line Truck Stop LLC, located by the Dunn and Stark county line, is expected to open in November and will include a convenience store and quick-serve restaurant.

There are similar establishments throughout the county, but this would be the first one not in a city's jurisdictional limit.

Commissioner Duane Wolf suggested that the county draft a resolution and set the parameters for liquor licenses.

"There's no doubt we want to do it, but we need to be able to control it and have standards," he said. "I think we'll probably look favorably on this, but it's new for us."

Scott Wax, president of County Line Truck Stop LLC, told the commission that liquor sales will not be a large part of the business.

"We're trying to be the one-stop shop, a convenience for people going to the lake or leaving town, so people don't necessarily have to come into Dickinson if that's all they need," he said. "We're not looking to make a killing on the liquor. I think the sales will be decent, don't get me wrong, but it's more or less a convenience for customers. It won't be a full-blown liquor store, by any means."

Commissioner Ken Zander questioned what would happen if the county issued a liquor license in an area that gets annexed into the city.

Randy Sickler, a representative of County Line Truck Stop, said Dickinson has an ordinance that if a business with the license gets annexed into city limits, the license becomes a city license.

Until then, he said state statue allows the county to set the limitations on the liquor licenses, including regulating the number of licenses to be granted, establishing health and safety standards for license premises, setting hours, regulation of open door policies by fraternal organizations or private clubs, and regulation of dancing or other forms of entertainment on the premises.

Sickler added that fees for on- or off-sale liquor licenses are set by ordinance or resolution at no less than $200 and no more than $2,000, except outside city limits where the fee could not exceed $1,000.

Zander pointed out that the fee may not compensate for problems a liquor license could present.

"For every $1,000 yearly fee, we're going to spend $1,000 every other week with law enforcement issues, so it's going to become a cost issue for us too," he said.