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Pierre City Commission moves to close special alcohol license loophole


The Pierre City Commission is tightening rules regarding special alcohol licenses within city limits.

Special liquor licenses are short-term licenses meant only for special events, according to the city. They are generally used for fundraisers or community celebrations like Oahe Days.

At its latest meeting, the commission voted on new rules limiting applicants to no more than 20 special alcohol licenses per year. The rules also require applicants to be either be be a nonprofit or civic group, or an existing liquor license holder in Pierre, Fort Pierre, Hughes County or Stanley County.

City Administrator Kristi Honeywell said the intent of the law is to protect the liquor license investments in Pierre without hindering the opportunity for special events.

“Without these rules in place, someone holding a liquor license in Rapid City could essentially run a bar in Pierre without ever obtaining a local liquor license,” said Honeywell.