County Starts Process to Deal With Liquor Law Changes

Sheridan County commissioners have started looking at what they need to do in response to changes in Wyoming's liquor licensing laws that will go into effect July 1.

As Sheridan Media reported earlier, Wyoming's Liquor Division hosted a town meeting in Sheridan this week to discuss the five bills that will affect liquor licenses after the start of the new fiscal year. Among those attending that meeting was County Commission Chairman Steve Maier.

He said County Clerk Eda Schunk Thompson is primarily responsible for the legwork involved in issuing liquor licenses, so the commissioners are relying on her help.

He said commissioners also have had administrative discussions with Sheridan city officials and, to a lesser degree, officials with Sheridan County's three towns. He said the idea is to make sure that the county and the towns are relatively consistent in their dealings with the new regulations. Maier also anticipates at least one public meeting, possibly more than one, to gauge their reactions to the county's ideas.

Maier said the two big changes in the state law are the hours of operation of liquor establishments and dispensing rooms. The Legislature removed provisions regulating the hours of operations, leaving that to the counties and municipalities. Kelly Hunt, senior agent with the liquor division, in the meeting earlier this week said unless the local governments set hours of operation, establishments can sell liquor 24 hours a day.

Also under the new laws, liquor licenses are no longer issued for each dispensing room but for the entire building.

Maier said he hopes the county can pull a draft proposal together within the next two weeks.

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