Monday, July 28, 2014
   
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Village discusses changes to alcohol rules

An old ordinance in Brady’s village codes prohibits alcohol sales during election polling hours despite the state law being repealed decades ago.

Those who sell alcohol in Brady want the village rules to match state law.

During the monthly village board meeting on Nov. 10, Jack Mann and Patty Callahan each asked trustees to consider lifting the alcohol ban on election day.

“Why do you suppose it’s there to begin with?” Mann asked the board.

Village attorney Steve Vinton told the grocery store owner the prohibition dates back to frontier days when some election candidates were known to buy votes with drinks.

Brady happens to be one of only three towns in the state that have held onto the election day prohibition.

“I’d like to see the village laws go along with what the state allows,” said Callahan, who runs The Hitchin’ Post with owner Mick Swanson.

Vinton explained that village ordinances may restrict laws further than the state statutes but may not expand them.

In a related matter, trustees also briefly discussed the state law that now allows liquor establishments to sell alcohol until 2 a.m.

Since LB861 took effect in July, 60 Nebraska cities and villages have expanded the hours of on-site liquor sales from 1 a.m. daily to 2 a.m.

Only one of the cities is west of the Kearney/Grand Island area.

Two towns—Valentine and Walthill—extended hours only on Friday and Saturday nights.

In Harbine, the 2 a.m. sales are limited to a single establishment and in Alma, extended hours are allowed only for special requests.

“We would like to have that option for special occasions,” Callahan said, “but I don’t think we want to be the only little town

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