Beer fines set five years later

City of Bartlett sealBartlett’s Beer Board cited 10 businesses for the sale of alcohol to underage customers as much as five years ago.

Six of the 10 businesses are either now out of business or are no longer owned by the permit holder at the time the sale occurred. An unidentified “glitch” kept the board from ever fining the violators at the time the crime occurred. Fines ranged from $500 to $1,500 depending on the number of previous violations.

According to City Prosecutor David Lakin despite the “glitch”, board action was necessary.

“There were offenders in years past,” Lakin said in presenting the case before the board. “It’s imperative this body create a record of hearing the violation in case any applicant wishes to come back and reopen business in Bartlett.”

Violators included Fajitas, China Royal and Schnucks, all of which no longer operate in Bartlett; Bartlett Discount Grocery, Discount Smoke and Beer and Wings of Wolfchase, of which all are no longer owned by the permit holder at the time of the violation.

Other cited include Colton’s Steakhouse for a sale in October, 2010; Fresh Slices, for a sale in 2009; HP Foodmart for a 2010 sale and Walgreens locations on Stage Road and Highway 70 for sales that happened in October three years ago.

While most representatives quietly accepted the cities’ fines, Fresh Slices owner Ike Logan voiced his concerns. Logan acknowledged that the sale to minors took place in August 2009 but questioned the length of time that passed before fines were handed down.

“How come I pay it four years later?” He asked. “If I rob a bank I would be in court two days later and for t his I have to wait four years to come see you guys.”

At least one alderman seemed to agree.

“Who punishes us when we make mistakes?” Bobby Simmons said referring to the half decade delay between violation and penalty.

In regular session the board of aldermen approved a number of special event permits and other consent agenda items without discussion.

They included:

  • The Legends of Stanky Creek Mountain Bike Race at Nesbit Park June 15.
  • Youth Villages Ultimate 5 and 10K race June 22 around St. Philip Episcopal Church.
  • Bartlett Park Ultras in Nesbit Park September 14.
  • A sewer easement for Shadowlawn sewer extension at a cost of $35,944.
  • A $35,809 bid from Dobs Ford for a 2013 F250 regular cab truck for public works.
  • A performer contract for Manhattan Transfer at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center.
  • Authorization to auction surplus property valued at more than $500.

The board also approved the first reading of the proposed new beer ordinance which includes language change and an increase in potential fines for the sale ot alcohol to minors.