St. Vincent De Paul granted Sunday hours


Oct. 15, 2015

 A donator drops off goods Wednesday afternoon at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift store in Slinger. The store has received permission to expand its hours of operation to include Sundays.
John Ehlke/Daily News

SLINGER – Doing business on Sunday is OK with the village’s Plan Commission.

During its regular meeting Wednesday at Village Hall, the commission unanimously granted the St. Vincent De Paul store an after-the-fact conditional use permit which allows it be legally open Sundays from 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

The decision comes after the store, at 445 E. Washington St., opened for Sunday shopping in August despite restrictions on the store’s CUP granted when the store opened in 2001 to not allow Sunday or holiday hours.

“It was brought to the village’s attention a few weeks ago that the store was open Sundays despite what the conditional use permit allowed it to do,” said Village Administrator Jessi Balcom. “We talked to them and it was agreed to allow them to remain open on Sundays until a decision was made by the village after a public hearing.”

Al Lepak, who represented the store at Wednesday’s meeting, said corporate officials dictated in that several of the stores begin being open for business on Sundays in August — including the Slinger location.

“It was after we were open we discovered the conditional use permit did not allow it,” Lepak said.

Since the corporate order, the store has been open from 10 a.m.-5p.m. on Sundays.

“We’re not going to be open 365 days a year. We’ll be closed at least four Sundays a year for holidays and it will be rare that the store is open at 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.,” Lepak said. “We did a poll of our customers and 90-95 percent of them wanted us to be open on Sundays.”

Two people voiced opposition to granting the new CUP — one in person and another through a letter read into the record.

Nearby subdivision resident Paul Leifer said in a letter he saw no reason to grant the conditional use change and said “there’s no emergency that requires it.” He also feared increased traffic in the area on Sundays would be a safety issue.

Rebecca Hein, who also lives in a nearby subdivision, told the commission she didn’t understand why a Catholic charity organization would make their employees work Sundays.

“It almost looks like the hours of Walmart,” Hein said.

Lepak said all employees would be given the option to work Sundays. As far as the request to be allowed to be open 15 hours Sundays, Village President and Plan Commission Chairman Russ Brandt said he understood the request.

“It’s been my experience that whenever a CUP request is made the party making it tries to make it as broad as possible to meet any unanticipated future need,” said Brandt.

Plan Commission member and Village Trustee Lee Fredericks said he understands more businesses need to be open longer, including Sunday, in order to stay in business.

“Being in the retail business and not being open on Sundays puts a business at a disadvantage,” Fredericks said.

Lepak said preliminary projects indicate the Slinger store should produce $250,000 more in gross receipts during one year by having Sunday hours.

“In several years we expect to double that,” he said. “Being open on Sundays is a growing trend for businesses.

Lepak said St. Vincent De Paul has 55 stores in Wisconsin — about 21 of them are open Sundays.

Reach reporter Joe VanDeLaarschot at