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FOX LAKE — The Fox Lake City Council decided the city has enough liquor stores when it rejected an application from the new Dollar General store to sell booze beyond the beer it has already been approved for.

The denial Wednesday was largely based on the number of places selling beer, wine and liquor on West State Street/Highway 33. Neighboring businesses that hold liquor licenses include Fish Tales (liquor and bait) at 529 W. State St., Kwik Trip at 701 W. State St. and LeRoy Meats at 739 W. State St.

A license to sell beer was approved for Dollar General, 733 W. State St., on Feb. 20.

Fish Tales owner Tim Nehls has objected to the granting of other licenses. He expressed his opinion during the public hearing section of Wednesday’s meeting.

“I oppose this for the simple reason that we now have three stores that serve alcohol within one block,” Nehls said. “I’ve talked to seven Dollar General stores in other communities and none of them have applied for a liquor license, so I don’t know the reason they want to have one in Fox Lake. I’d really like to hear from them what their reason is.”

“You don’t think we need to have four businesses in a row that have a liquor license?” council member John Mund asked, tongue in cheek.

“Not unless we have a bad reputation in Fox Lake,” Nehls responded.

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The motion to deny the application from Dolgencorp LLC was approved with a unanimous council vote.

After adjournment, Mayor Tim Bednarek cited an article in April edition of The Municipality as a source of information related to the denial.

In that article Julie Sherman, coordinator of the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project, wrote, “There is compelling research showing that clusters and over-concentrations of alcohol outlets increase alcohol-related disorder and crime in a community. The evidence is so compelling that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend limiting the number of locations that sell or serve alcohol to control alcohol-related crime and disorder in the community.”

“My feeling is that we should be able to control the number of liquor outlets that we have related to the size of our town,” Bednarek said.

He added that the city has provided enthusiastic support of the store, which held its grand opening on Jan. 5, coming to Fox Lake and that the denial in no way diminishes the council’s desire for the business to succeed and thrive in the community.

Operator licenses were approved for four Dollar General staff members to sell beer, based on the earlier beer license approval. One operator license was denied based on that person’s previous felony conviction.

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