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Northern Utah city divided on proposal to lift one of state's only alcohol bans

By Devon Dolan | Posted - Nov. 5, 2013 at 10:42 p.m.

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HYDE PARK — Voters in northern Utah had their say on one of the state's last remaining city alcohol bans.

About half of the 2,400 registered voters in Hyde Park handed in their ballots on Election Day, Tuesday.

The Cache County city has been heavily divided every since the only Maverik convenience store in town asked city council members to lift the long-standing alcohol ban.

Maverik wouldn't comment, but city council members said the company estimates a 24 percent increase in sales if the ban is lifted. City officials said that would mean an extra $10,000 to $15,000 a year in sales tax for Hyde Park.

Not everyone is convinced. Councilman Mark Hurd said he voted against lifting the ban due to worries about what it could mean for the small community.

"Sure, Hyde Park may increase in revenue," Hurd said. "However, at large the community is impacted every time alcohol density increases."

Hurd said he talked with the health department and decided a vote against lifting the ban was the best for the city.

An increase in business is why some residents voted in favor of lifting the ban on beer sales. They hope the lifting of the ban would attract more restaurants and convenience stores.

Hyde Park resident Richard Brodock said he hopes the ban is lifted and sees the current city policy restrictive.

"There are a lot of people that think Hyde Park should be a progressive city that is looking to the future," Brodock said.

Hyde Park's Mayor Brian Cox said sales tax would boost the city's budget more than property taxes but he said the bigger issue is the need for his community to mend the division.

"There are good people who do drink, people that don't drink, and they're all really good people and we want then in our city," Cox said. "That's what makes us rich."

Results of the vote weren't in as of 10 p.m. Tuesday. They will be posted once they become available.


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