Alcohol outlets are places where alcohol is sold, either to drink on the premises (on-sale outlets, which require a Class B license) or off premise (off-sale outlets, requiring a Class A license). Alcohol outlet density indicates the number of physical locations where alcohol is sold per population or geographic area such as a square mile, census tract, or city block.
In 1977, the City of Neenah decided to not issue Class A licenses to any business dispensing gasoline. This was because of an increase in alcohol related problems in the city (Article IV. ALCOHOL BEVERAGES, Section 4-95 (e). –Restrictions, Code of Ordinances, Neenah). In late 2015, convenience store owners appeal to the Neenah City Council to repeal the ban, with the claim that it puts convenience store owners at a competitive disadvantage compared to surrounding communities. The purpose of the ban is to reduce alcohol related harm.
Numerous studies have shown that alcohol outlet density is significantly related to the level of alcohol related harm that neighborhoods experience, particularly violence. Members of re:TH!NK spoke with Neenah City Council on this matter. The Council voted in early 2016 to hold up the alcohol sales limits.