Waterloo council continues liquor license crack down - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo council continues liquor license crack down

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Three Waterloo liquor stores now do not have permission from the city to sell alcohol.  In a matter of weeks, the city council has denied liquor license requests from Five Star Snacks & More, East Fourth Street Liquor, and a proposed store called NC Mini Mart.

Recent outbreaks of violence in and around Waterloo liquor stores are pushing the city council to take a harder look at whether or not to renew liquor licenses.  And public outcry about those issues is only adding fuel to the fire.

East Fourth Liquor is just the latest store to have its application for a liquor license rejected by the Waterloo city council.  It's welcome news for a group called Social Action, Inc. that often meets at the Talk Shop Café next door to the liquor store.

"On East Fourth, we're trying to make some changes.  Of course historically, it was a very rich and vital area in the community.  So we kind of want to re-establish that.  And having a place that doesn't lift up that kind of an attitude, we want to see it gone," said Michael Blackwell, member of Social Action, Inc.

Mayor Buck Clark says the crack down on liquor store licenses is in direct response to those kinds of concerns.

"I believe what the city council is doing now is sending a very strong message to those folks that have applied for a new license or are asking for renewal of a current license, that activity in and around their licensed establishments is going to have to be monitored," Mayor Clark said.

Even still, the management at some stores dispute their responsibility to monitor what's happening in the neighborhood.  But the city says pulling liquor licenses is one step it can take in hopes of curbing violence and improving neighborhoods.

Mayor Clark says the city does not want to discourage business, it just wants to end activities that seem to spring up around some of these liquor stores.  So, the mayor is working with the city attorney to look at what restrictions the city can implement to possibly limit the number of liquor stores that can be located in one area. 

It should also be noted that any store that has a liquor license rejected by the city council can appeal that decision with the state.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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