Election results were officially certified Friday afternoon in Pottawatomie County for a Sunday alcohol sales ballot measure passed by voters Tuesday. That measure allows liquor-by-the-drink at restaurants on Sundays and is hoped to help bring in more tax revenue and additional dining options to the county.

Election results were officially certified Friday afternoon in Pottawatomie County for a Sunday alcohol sales ballot measure passed by voters Tuesday. That measure allows liquor-by-the-drink at restaurants on Sundays and is hoped to help bring in more tax revenue and additional dining options to the county.

Last Tuesday, 15,314 people — or 60.42 percent — approved the resolution that allows alcoholic drinks, such as wine and liquor, to be served on Sundays.

Before Tuesday's election, restaurants in Pottawatomie County could only sell low-point beer on Sundays.

Pottawatomie County commissioners, citing the pros for economic development possibilities and more tax revenue from Sunday sales, called for an election at the request of the Shawnee City Commission.

“I am very pleased with the Sunday serving results,” Shawnee Mayor Richard Finley said after the election. “It enhances our economic development efforts.”

Tim Burg, executive director of the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation, said Sunday alcohol sales should help with future economic development.

“From a retail attraction perspective, it allows us to be on a level playing field with the larger cities located to the west of Shawnee,” he said. “Prior to the passage of this, when we were asked the question about the ability to sell alcoholic beverages on Sunday, we shared that those sales were limited to 3.2 beer.  In a world where national and regional retailers make decisions based upon which locations provide them with their greatest profit opportunities, we were certainly at a disadvantage in the limitations of what beverages their consumers could purchase.”

Burg said research showed the lack of Sunday alcohol sales was creating almost a 50 percent loss of food sales volumes when comparing Saturday and Sunday totals, plus those retailers shared their Shawnee customers were driving to the west on Sunday to their sister restaurants, where they could purchase the beverages they want.

Now that Sunday sales are legal, Burg is anxious to see what unfolds next.

“As witnessed over the last few years with the resurgence of a new wave of retailers who have chosen Shawnee as a suitable location, we are eager to watch how this new ruling affects these recruitment efforts,” Burg said. “We are fortunate to have a lot of right criteria that most retailers are looking for and now we are even a bit more competitive with others in the region.”

Last Tuesday was the second time the Sunday alcohol measure went before voters. In November 2014, the Sunday alcohol issue narrowly failed.

And while the resolution for the election calls for the measure to take effect immediately, some restaurants may not be selling just yet.

Scott Short with The Garage said he inquired Thursday with the Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement Commission — which licenses restaurants to sell alcohol — about the Sunday sales measure.

Short said he was told that once the election votes were certified, the new law for Sunday sales would be active. But he said he also was told that the Veterans Day holiday on Friday would delay certification of the election, so he said the restaurant planned to wait until Nov. 20 to begin Sunday alcohol sales.

Jeannie Stover, secretary of the Pottawatomie County Election Board, said despite the Veterans Day holiday that closed county and state offices on Friday, the election board was open for business as usual.

She said the state decided a while back that all 77 election board offices would be open Friday, Nov. 11 to certify results since elections are always certified by 5 p.m. on Fridays following the Tuesday election.

Stover said the resolution for the Sunday alcohol election reads that it takes effect immediately.