Bloomington City Councilman Brad Wisler says he expects the council will approve a request for voluntary annexation that would enable the construction of a new liquor store, even though the measure might seem unsavory upon first examination.
Property owner Ted Najam with Small Town Properties is requesting the annexation of the parcel on the corner of Leonard Springs Road and State Road 45 because package liquor stores are required by state law to be within city limits. The developer wants to build a Big Red Liquors on the spot that is currently part of the AIFA or Area Intended for Annexation. Wisler says if the parcel weren’t already so close to the city, the council’s feelings would be very different.
City Controller Susan Clark has estimated that it will cost $300 a year to provide police and other services to the property, while the store will likely bring in $500 in property taxes. Wisler admits that $300 for police coverage might seem like wishful thinking for a liquor store, but he says that it’s state excise police, and not city cops, who handle much of the crime associated with alcohol sales.
While Bloomington has maxed-out on the number of package liquor licenses available to store owners, Big Red officials say they have one unused license in escrow that they will put toward the project. The council is expected to rule definitively on the matter at their June 6th meeting.