HYRUM, Utah — A ban on Sunday beer sales has been lifted in this conservative northern Utah town.

Ryan Kendrick, manager of the Hyrum Chevron, had asked the city council to lift the ban because his primary competition was allowed to sell beer on Sundays in neighboring Nibley.

A Maverik store there already sells beer seven days a week. Nibley council members have indicated they will review the city's ordinance early next year. All but one Hyrum council members voted to lift the ban on beer.

said that the "equal playing field" argument is not a valid one.

"I don't think that's a valid argument or justification for changing the ordinance because there is no such thing as a level playing field," said Councilman Craig Rasmussen.

Rasmussen noted that the Chevron has a restaurant while the Maverik does not.

"Is Chevron going to close their restaurant so they can be on a level playing field?" said Rasmussen.

Kendrick said the "equality I'm talking about is the fact that if my competition is able to sell a product, I don't feel that it's fair that I cannot sell that product."

In addition, Rasmussen objected to changing the ordinance on moral grounds.

"I don't want to bring moral issues into here, but every decision we make is a moral issue," he said.

Councilman Martin Felix took issue with that stance.

"If you look at it in those terms, then we need to ban sales of cigarettes on Sunday," Felix said. "It's the same kind of thing. You can't say one thing is bad for you and against your morals and sell something else that's just as bad."

Kendrick said he appreciates the council's willingness to change and understanding that the "needs of the business community have changed."