Watertown grocery stores get green light to sell beer, wine; mayor says floodgates “now open” (Audio)

October 20, 2021
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–A pair of votes taken by the Watertown City Council in recent months have no doubt gotten the attention of liquor store owners who now have new competitors in the city.

In July, the council, at a special meeting, approved a license for County Fair Foods to sell beer and wine, and at their meeting on Monday night, the council afforded the same ability for Hy-Vee to do that at their own grocery store.

Mayor Ried Holien tells KWAT News he voted against the County Fair application because of the precedent that it set…

Holien says if similar applications come before the council in the future, it’ll be hard to say “no”….

Holien says the approval of these licenses amounts to a change in the “business model” for Watertown….

The Hy-Vee license was approved on a unanimous vote. During the public comment period Monday night, there was not a single person who spoke “for” or “against” their request.