ROCK FALLS – Alcohol might soon be sold at convenience stores in the city.
The City Council, on first reading Tuesday, approved an ordinance that would allow convenience stores to apply for liquor licenses. The council voted 5-3 in favor of the ordinance, with Aldermen Glen Kuhlemier, Dave Hand and Lee Folsom voting no.
The ordinance will be on the council's agenda for a second reading Sept. 17.
Rock Falls is the only municipality in the general area, Mayor Bill Wescott has said, that doesn't allow convenience stores to sell beer or wine.
Kuhlemier, a Ward 2 alderman, said he was concerned about making alcohol readily available at gas stations.
"I've always believed that we do not need to make it easier to mix alcohol and drivers, whether they're of age or not of age," he said.
Ward 4 Alderman John Watts said he voted for the change to help the city's economy.
"Obviously, it will help the businesses with increased sales," he said. "On the flip side of that, obviously, it's going to generate money for the city – revenue and taxes."
Aldermen Jim Schuneman, Brian Snow, Daehle Reitzel and Mark Vandersnick also voted in favor of the ordinance.
The council on Tuesday also voted in favor of an ordinance establishing an intergovernmental agreement with Sterling to combine certain administrative functions of the two fire departments. It was the ordinance's first reading.
The agreement has been in the works for several months, and comes 2 weeks after Rock Falls Fire Chief J.W. Larson announced his retirement.
The Rock Falls and Sterling city councils will meet at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9, to approve the agreement. It will be the second reading for Rock Falls and the first for Sterling, which only requires one reading to approve ordinances.
The Rock Falls and Sterling city councils will meet at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9, at City Hall, 603 W. 10th St. in Rock Falls, to vote on an intergovernmental agreement to combine the administrative functions of their fire departments.
The Rock Falls City Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17, at City Hall, for its second meeting of the month.
The agendas will be posted at www.rockfalls61071.com and at City Hall. Call 815-622-1100 for more information.
The City Council meeting also can be viewed live on Channel 5 on cable.