SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For those interested in serving vodka or Bud or a glass of wine at an event in Sioux Falls, it will take $100, $25 or $50 a day. It will take $50 a day for additional days of a liquor license up to 15 days.
As of July 26, the city has issued 51 one-day liquor licenses for a total of $5,100 in permit fees this year. Another 31 malt beverage or wine licenses have been issued at $25 per month for a total of $775 in permit fees. Only one farm wine license has been issued at $50.
One-day alcohol licenses are available to civic, charitable, educational, fraternal or veterans’ organizations or to a retail liquor or retail wine license holder.
“I’m sure we are on pace to have the same numbers as 2019,” said Jamie Palmer, a licensing specialist for the city of Sioux Falls.
The city issued 79 special one-day liquor licenses, 77 special one-day malt and wine licenses and one farm wine license in 2019.
The 2020 numbers declined because of COVID-19.
The permit fees generated $24,100 in revenue in one-day liquor licenses from 2017-2020.
It’s not a ton of money but permits aren’t designed to make lots of money for the city. State law requires that cities use special one-day liquor permits, Palmer said.
Most special one-day liquor, malt or wine permits are used by organizations for fund-raising events.
And most of those events with alcohol are not on city property.
Cathy Buchheim, the city’s special events coordinator, said on July 29 that only four applications for special events needed a liquor license. Special events on city property require a special events license, Buchheim said.
Events that served alcohol on city property have outgrown their public places, Buchheim said.
For example, Hot Harley Nights and the LGBTQ Pride event have moved from city property to other property. Hot Harley Nights is at the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds and the LGBTQ Pride event moved from a park to a parking lot near Cherapa Place.
Fees for special events permits in the city range from $25 to $500. The fees are on a sliding scale based on event size.
The $25 is for a Class IV event with an attendance under 500. It’s $100 for Class III event with an attendance of 500 to 2,499. It’s $250 for all parades. It’s $500 for a Class II event with an attendance from 2,500 to 9,999 and a $500 base fee for a Class I event with an attendance of at least 10,000.
Events that need a special permit include Boxer Walk and the Jingle Bell Run, Buchheim said.
While organizations can apply for a one-day liquor license so can those who already hold a retail alcohol license.
For example, JJ’s Wine, Spirits and Cigars serves alcohol at Levitt events and the business needs a special liquor permit because it is serving alcohol on city-owned property, Palmer said.
Although an applicant can pay an additional $50 for each consecutive day up to 15 days after the first day of the permit, very few want those additional days, Palmer said.
“The only one that ever comes close is the (Sioux Falls) Sports Authority that gets one for the Sanford International Golf event. That’s only for nine days,” Palmer said.
An applicant could apply for a license for July 10 and extend it for several days and could apply for a new one for July 17 and add multiple days. But there would need to be a gap between the July 10 license days and July 17.
Both a liquor license and special events permit need city approval.
The city council approves special alcohol licenses for existing alcohol retail license holders during the consent agenda action at meetings. Approval with a consent agenda means the council does not act on each individual license application but approves those type of licenses and other business in one overall motion.
Other special one-day alcohol licenses require separate council action including a hearing.
Special event applications are referred to the city’s special events committee, Buchheim said.
The committee usually wants more information on items such as security, the number of portable toilets and similar, Buchheim said.
Although most special events on city property don’t use a special liquor license, they do most often include a food permit through the department of health, Buchheim said.
Buchheim said the city wants 60-days notice of a special event. She sends reminders to event sponsors who have had annual special events in the city.
Palmer recommends applicants apply for a special one-day alcohol license four to six weeks before the event.