WALKER -- The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has ranked Cass County seventh highest of Minnesota's 87 counties for alcohol-related highway fatalities.
The first six are metropolitan area counties.
For this reason, Cass commissioners are reluctant to take advantage of a state law permitting local governments to extend bar closings from 1 to 2 a.m.
Commissioner Rusty Lilyquist said not making that change would have to be consistent with neighboring counties and cities within the county to prevent a run from Cass County to neighboring counties at 1 a.m. when bar patrons may already be over the legal alcohol limit.
The board voted Tuesday to contact neighboring county boards and city councils within the county to determine whether they support a continued 1 a.m. closing time. Cass commissioners will not take action on the issue until that survey is completed.
After agreeing in May to reconsider liquor license fee increases, Tuesday the board set public hearings for July 22 and Aug. 5 on potential changes to the county liquor ordinance.
Also a part of those changes, the board will consider whether to retain or change the 1 a.m. bar closing time.
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