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Voters approve Sparta beer sales

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SPARTA, Wis. (WXOW) - Elections officials in Sparta on Friday announced that voters did in fact approve a beer and wine referendum earlier in the week.

At issue was whether the city would lift its longstanding ban on beer and wine sales at grocery and convenience stores inside city limits.

In Tuesday's election, voters approved the question by just five votes.  However, eight absentee ballots had yet to be returned.

Friday was the deadline for those ballots to be returned. The City Clerk's office received only one, which was a yes vote.  The lone vote means the final tally was 758 to 752 in favor of the measure.

So after a ban that lasted almost half a century, the city will now allow beer and wine sales in city limits.

A similar referendum failed at least four times in the past ten years. Unlike previous questions, this one allows only beer and wine sales, not liquor sales.

Nick Hansen, the co-owner of Hansen's IGA, says they are excited about the opportunity to sell beer to their customers.

The city says allowing the sale of beer will increase the tax base by about four million dollars.
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