The Green Lake American Legion’s building was completed last year. According to Post Commander Mark Kramer, the Legion is trying to obtain a Class B liquor license from the city to aid in gaining revenue to pay off its mortgage.
The Green Lake American Legion’s building was completed last year. According to Post Commander Mark Kramer, the Legion is trying to obtain a Class B liquor license from the city to aid in gaining revenue to pay off its mortgage.

A state quota and legal definitions may prevent Green Lake’s American Legion post from obtaining a license to sell liquor.

City attorney Dan Sondalle explained during the city’s Council of the Whole meeting Monday that a municipality cannot exceed a state-mandated, population-based quota on liquor licenses granted to establishments, with three exceptions:

  • A full-service restaurant that has an interior, permanent seating capacity of 300 or more;
  • A hotel that has 50 or more rooms and has either an attached restaurant with a seating capacity of 150 or more or a banquet room capable of holding 400 or more persons;
  • An opera house or theater for the performing arts operated by a nonprofit organization.

The last exception specifically was adopted for Green Lake’s Thrasher Opera House, Sondalle noted.

Post Commander Mark Kramer told the council that the Legion doesn’t want to compete with local businesses and simply is trying to bring in additional revenue to pay off its mortgage by renting the hall and selling liquor during events, such as weddings, in addition to beer and wine.

Quotas do not exist for beer and wine licenses, according to Sondalle — just liquor.

Read the full story, including a discussion of potential Illinois Avenue repairs, in the April 6, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.