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June 07, 2014 10:13 PM

Mitchell Residents React To New Wine Ordinance

Mitchell, SD

After years of debate and controversy, Mitchell voters passed a new city ordinance this week allowing businesses to serve wine on the sidewalks downtown.

Sidewalks in downtown Mitchell will have a new look soon. Businesses making the majority of their profits from food sales will be allowed to serve wine on the sidewalks near its building. Sixty percent of voters in Mitchell wanted the new ordinance.

The businesses wanting to serve wine outdoors must apply for a permit and pay a fee to the city.

Morgan Meier thinks the ordinance will help people see that Mitchell is more than just the Corn Palace.

"I think it's a great idea so the people can explore what else Mitchell has to offer downtown and see all their small shops that are unique," Meier said.

Cafe Teresa Downtown currently sells wine inside of its door. The owner of the coffeehouse is happy that voters passed this issue, but due to a lack of sidewalk space, she won't be able to take advantage of the new ordinance.

Owner Karmen McCain was too busy at her restaurant today to talk on camera, but she believes the wine sales will help the bottom line of many downtown businesses.

Yet, not everyone is a fan of the change. Karen Hohn voted against the ordinance. She doesn't think wine on the sidewalks in Mitchell is good for the younger generation of people taking in the sights and sounds of downtown.

"I voted no because I didn't think that we would want younger people seeing us drinking on the sidewalks and that would just promote the ok for everyone. So I didn't think that was appropriate for the young people to see that," Hohn said.

Even though not everyone agrees, the change could be coming to the sidewalks as early as the end of the month.

The Mitchell City Council will canvas the vote next Monday before businesses can apply for a permit.

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