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No major change planned for liquor ordinance

The city of Woodbury will not water down its liquor license ordinance and instead plans to spike it with a stronger financial disclosure requirement.

City Council members said they support an ordinance change that would require liquor license holders to provide upon their license renewal a signed financial statement showing how much money they made from food sales and from liquor sales.

The city requires that establishments with a liquor license obtain at least 50 percent of their sales from food. Most, but not all, establishments provide that information on clear financial statements, so the amendment is meant to provide consistency, City Clerk Kim Blaeser said.

The financial statement should be signed by the license holder and certified, council members said.

"At the end of the day, if it's a fraudulent filing, that's fraud," council member Paul Rebholz said.

Council members last week said they do not favor changing the city's "50-50" sales requirement, in place since 2003.

Two establishments - Throwbacks Grille and Bar and O'Malley's Irish Pub - have struggled to meet the 50-percent food sales requirement, often coming within a few percentage points.

The 50-50 requirement has helped to keep public safety calls from local establishments to a minimum. Also, it has blocked the opening of full-fledged bars from opening in Woodbury.

"I think it's clear we don't want (pure) bars," council member Mary Giuliani Stephens said during an Oct. 20 discussion of the ordinance.

The City Council is expected to approve the financial statement change in December.