City Council approves Sunday liquor sales

Steven Barnum , News editor

Businesses in Macomb will soon be allowed to sell packaged liquor on Sundays.

After being part of a larger discussion during previous meetings, the Macomb City Council decided to end the Sunday prohibition. Monday’s unanimous vote means that businesses will be able to sell the liquor between the hours of 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Sundays. The ordinance does not allow for the sale of beer kegs.

Employees who scan alcohol in checkout aisles must be at least 18 years old and each computer system must have an identification scanner. If someone in a group of people purchases alcohol, then the store must card each person in that group. Business owners in Macomb will need to apply for a “Class P” liquor license in order to sell liquor on Sundays. The ordinance will be effective in April.

Hy-Vee Store Director Melissa Worley initially proposed that the city should lift the Sunday sales ban in February. Worley worked with members of the city council and other businesses in order to make the request a reality. Mayor Mike Inman said that he applauds Worley for stepping up and pushing to improve business in Macomb.

“I want to thank Mrs. Worley and the folks at Hy-Vee for bringing this to our attention,” Inman said, “and for helping us pass this ordinance.”

In other business, Nate Cobb, the Director of McDonough County Transportation, gave a review of the potential transportation budget. The deadline to approve the fiscal year 2020 transportation budget in McDonough County is April 1.

The proposed budget for the fiscal year operating expenses is for $376,000. The budget accounts for door-to-door transportation services around the city of Macomb. Roughly 65 percent of the budget would be made up of state money and federal funding and local match funding will account for the remaining amount.

“We are anticipating seeing the same hours of service for next year,” Cobb said. “There will be some reduction in the combination of routes.”

Cobb said that routes can be combined in the fall, especially with Western Illinois University’s decision to shut down the North Quad. As of now, there are no plans to eliminate bus routes and all routes should remain on their normal or similar time schedules. Cobb said that the department is trying to find a more efficient and practical solution since there is a limited amount of funding available.