Bismarck lifts Sunday off-sale ban; sets study for quiet rail

2011-03-08T23:15:00Z 2011-03-09T07:46:08Z Bismarck lifts Sunday off-sale ban; sets study for quiet railLEANN ECKROTH/Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune
March 08, 2011 11:15 pm  • 

The Bismarck City Commission on Tuesday agreed to lift its ban on off-sale liquor buys on Sunday; a special license is now available for businesses that already qualify to sell alcohol off-sale the rest of the week. All five commissioners passed it.

The new liquor ordinance allows businesses to sell alcohol off-sale on Sunday if they pay another 20 percent of their normal liquor license fee. They must already be able to sell liquor off-sale according to city code. A Class D license can sell both on and off liquor sales, Class E licenses are beer only and Class N licenses are for wine.

The commission also approved three actions that will allow the city to study the cost of moving a quiet rail project forward on three Bismarck downtown railroad crossings.

With quiet rail improvements, special infrastructure is added to allow quieter whistles.

The city will:

* File a notice of intent with the Federal Railroad Administration to improve Third, Fifth and 12th streets' crossings.

* Request to apply for $225,000 in North Dakota Department of Transportation funding to allow for potential quiet rail construction.

* Correspond with BNSF Railway about its standards for the cost of the improvements. The railroad would design and install the equipment and then bill the city.

The commission accepted the Northwest Sub Area Study with stipulations placed on it at a previous city planning commission meeting. Its goal is to spread traffic as new home developments fill in below 57th Avenue in the northwest section of Bismarck.

The study has been disputed because possible options suggest removing a fire hall going due west on Century Avenue, removing businesses or require moving homes to make way for the road expansion.

Commissioners agreed to the stipulations that: 

* Strike references to preferred alternatives on Century Avenue options.

* The Tyler Coulee Road plan be strongly opposed.

* There would be further studies on environmental, Native American artifacts, storm water issues, traffic counts and alternative cost issues. 

* There is further study on 57th Avenue, 64th Avenue and Ash Coulee Drive.

* Add an option suggested by a resident that goes from Century Avenue, crosses to the northwest corner of Lowe's parking lot and intersects with Burnt Boat Drive.

* Have the city traffic engineer look at adding a traffic light at Tyler Parkway and Century Avenue as a short-term solution to existing traffic problems. The engineer should see if this meets state criteria.

After an executive session late in the meeting, the commission announced that Traffic Safety Services had bought nearly 5 acres of property at the Northern Plains Commerce Centre for $500,000. It is a company that specializes in control signs for road construction. Bismarck Mayor John Warford said the company will build a structure there. "We're excited. This is what economic development is all about," he said.

(Reach reporter LeAnn Eckroth at 250-8264 or leann.eckroth@bismarcktribune.com.)

Copyright 2016 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. C Dog
    Report Abuse
    C Dog - March 11, 2011 1:20 pm
    aceinthehole said: "Those are third world countries and maybe certain dry counties in Arkansas.... Bravo Bismarck.. finally."

    There are LOTS of dry counties in the U.S. (and lots of drunk drivers crossing the county lines) About 18,000,000 people in the U.S. live in dry counties.

    What I don't like is the 20% fee added to the liquor license. What's the justification for that? Sounds like the government is taking advantage of small businesses.
  2. aceinthehole
    Report Abuse
    aceinthehole - March 09, 2011 12:52 pm
    Purple-Stater said: "A silly thing to ridicule our city about, given that's it's only a minor convenience. Then too, consider how many other parts of the country still don't allow it; how many parts of the world barely allow any alcohol at all; and how many cities & counties there are scattered around our country where the sale of alcohol is completely banned and even possession is strictly limited."

    Those are third world countries and maybe certain dry counties in Arkansas.... Bravo Bismarck.. finally.
  3. Energy Efficiency
    Report Abuse
    Energy Efficiency - March 09, 2011 10:45 am
    Did Hell freeze over? A Sunday off sale ban is lifted and a study for a "Quiet Rail" proposed? I am appalled, Bismarck is finally moving into the 21st Century. I need to get off my horse and buggy and celebrate this progressive idea.
  4. JustThinkAboutIt
    Report Abuse
    JustThinkAboutIt - March 09, 2011 10:04 am
    Now if we could open stores before noon on Sunday we would really be progressive for North Dakota.
  5. floyded
    Report Abuse
    floyded - March 09, 2011 9:23 am
    Can't the City get the Railroad to do a deal, buy three quiet crossing and get one free, so the People that Live around 19th Street crossing can smell the roses too.
  6. Dickinson Midget
    Report Abuse
    Dickinson Midget - March 09, 2011 8:57 am
    More lost tax revenue for Mandan and Morton county.
  7. Purple-Stater
    Report Abuse
    Purple-Stater - March 09, 2011 5:08 am
    A silly thing to ridicule our city about, given that's it's only a minor convenience. Then too, consider how many other parts of the country still don't allow it; how many parts of the world barely allow any alcohol at all; and how many cities & counties there are scattered around our country where the sale of alcohol is completely banned and even possession is strictly limited.
  8. cotlod
    Report Abuse
    cotlod - March 09, 2011 3:15 am
    The 20th century arrives in Bismarck... in 2011

  9. Celticman
    Report Abuse
    Celticman - March 08, 2011 10:19 pm
    Well! Welcome to the 21st century! Fifty years late in our arrival versus the rest of the world. But we are free at last! After partaking of the wine at church, we can actually buy a bottle of it to drink at home.
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