Liquor license fee discounts ending in Suamico
By Kevin Boneske
SUAMICO – After facing closures or scaled-back operations last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, license holders who sell or serve alcohol in the village will no longer be getting a 25% discount on those licenses.
The Suamico village board agreed May 17 to direct staff to put together a standard fee schedule without the discounts for the board to vote on next month for the next licensing year, which begins July 1.
Village Administrator Alex Kaker said businesses last year took a financial hit when the state’s Safer at Home order was in effect, for which the reduction of 25% took into account a three-month period and resulted in Suamico’s license fee revenue for selling or serving alcohol dropping by about $3,000.
Kaker made no recommendation and left it up to the board as to what fees to set for next year.
Board members agreed the business outlook is different than a year ago and doesn’t justify keeping the license fee reductions in place.
“You walk into any one of these establishments, and they’re doing very well,” Trustee Dan Roddan said.
Trustee Sky Van Rossum said the 25% reduction made sense last year after those businesses closed for three months, but now a different justification would be needed to continue that when they’re open.
Village President Laura Nelson said COVID-19 vaccinations are now available, and businesses no longer closed have the discretion as to whether they will require masks be worn on the premises.
“I don’t see what’s keeping people away, and in fact, people are out there enjoying everyone’s company…,” she said. “Certainly, we can’t extend (the 25% fee reduction) for the same reason that we did last year.”
Village Clerk Bonnie Swan said the revised fee schedule without the discounts could be acted on at the board’s June 7 meeting prior to the licenses for the next year being approved.
Some of the changes in liquor licensing fees for 2021-22 would include Class A and B liquor licenses, which were reduced last year to $375, increasing back to $500, and the combination Class B license increasing from $450 back to $600.