City issues first-ever cider only liquor license

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The state has a new class of liquor licenses and the City Council issued the first one for the city Tuesday.

The new license is a class A retail license for cider only, created as part of the recently-passed state budget.

The council unanimously approved the application from Kwik Trip for the new license.

City Clerk/Treasurer Patty Huberty explained that the new class of license allows the holder to sell liquor made from fermented apple or pear juice.

“The other qualification is that you must already have a class A beer license,” in order to obtain a class A cider only license, she added.

Huberty emphasized that the cider only license does not allow the holder to sell any other liquor, only beer, fermented malt beverages and fermented cider beverages.

The city currently has a self-imposed limit of four on retail liquor licenses, although the council’s Ad-hoc Liquor License Ordinance Study Committee recently recommended increasing that number. The council has yet to act on that committee’s recommendations.

“Kwik Trip was the first one out of the gate,” in the city after the new class of licenses was created, Huberty noted. “Soon after it became law they had this on my desk, in a week or so.”

“Since we have no limit on beer licenses in the city, we would have no limits on this,” Mayor Donald Pohlman said of the new cider only license. He predicted that there will soon be applications for the new license from other beer license holders in the city.

The council heard a presentation from Mike Peters, CEO of WPPI Energy.

WPPI, a consortium of public utilities in Wisconsin, Iowa and upper Michigan – including Plymouth Utilities – is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.

“We have appreciated the partnership and support we’ve gotten from Plymouth,” Peters told the council. “That partnership has been good and we’d like to continue it.”

Peters noted that WPPI has been able to lower purchased electricity costs for its members while also providing services and economies of scale that the individual municipal utilities would not be able to provide for their customers on their own.

He added that one thing that makes that possible is the longterm contracts local utilities sign with WPPI. Plymouth Utilities’ original contract with WPPI, signed in 2001, is up for renewal this year and Peters said WPPI is looking forward to extending the contract.

“We’re asking our members to extend their contracts to 2055,” Peters said. Such long-term commitments would enable WPPI to negotiate better prices for electricity purchases and interests in electric plants in the future.

Another benefit WPPI provides its members is annual dividends. In Plymouth, Peters said, that money has been used for high school scholarships and to help fund the Redevelopment Authority, among other items.

He assured council members that WPPI is well-positioned to meet the requirements of the Clean Power Plan recently put forward by President Barack Obama.

The council approved the annexation of a home at 2702 Eastern Ave., owned by Robert and Helen Abhold, with a temporary zoning of B-3 highway business.

The council will hold a public hearing at their Aug. 25 meeting to make the zoning permanent.

“Even though this is a residential property, the surrounding properties are all B-3 highway business,” City Attorney Crystal Fieber told the council.

She added that the city had received an e-mail that day from the state Department of Administration finding that the requested annexation would be in the public interest.

A certified survey map for the Stipe Machinery property on County M in the town of Sheboygan Falls – creating two parcels out of the 8.2-acre property - was also approved by the council.

Requests to fill a full-time laborer position in the Public Works Department and a patrol officer position in the Police Department were both approved.

Fieber was directed to seek a court order to raze or repair the fire-damaged home at 925 Eastern Ave. if there is no progress in repairing the residence by Sept. 6.

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