UPDATE: Waterloo council reinstates 5 Star license - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Waterloo council reinstates 5 Star license

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- A Waterloo business previously denied a liquor license will once again be able to sell alcohol.  Five Star Snacks & More, located near 3rd and Sullivan in Waterloo, was denied the ability to renew its liquor license last July.  But under a new agreement approved tonight by the city council, the license is being reinstated.

The agreement with the city will require Five Star to monitor activity around the business and report all problems to police immediately.  Five Star will also have to pick up litter around the store and post signs to alert customers that loitering and public consumption of alcohol are banned.  And the city hopes the stricter rules will work so that similar agreements might be reached with other liquor stores in the future.

Council members like Steve Schmitt feel the agreement with Five Star is a step in the right direction to eliminating problems around the city's liquor stores.

"I think this will be a great test because this neighborhood has a lot of police presence as it is.  And so I think this is a great opportunity for the city and for this business owner and for the Church Row neighborhood," Schmitt said.

Last summer, those who live near Five Star were concerned about loitering and alleged crime at the store.  So they presented a petition to the city council asking that the store's license renewal be denied.  The neighborhood association is now hopeful that Five Star's agreement with the city will help curb perceived problems with activity around the store.

"I would just say be good neighbors.  That's all that anybody can ask for, you know.  Keep the place clean around there. Make it that nobody's afraid to walk down the street and nobody has a problem working with the business," said Mary Potter with the Church Row Neighborhood Association.

As for the city, even though the state has reversed many of the liquor licenses it has denied, it's hoped that the agreement with Five Star will be a model for how to handle other liquor stores where neighbors have expressed concerns.

"The vast majority of our liquor stores, bars and restaurants are responsible owners.  They're great business people.  They're great neighbors.  It's just those exceptions to the rule, and those are the folks we want to really keep an eye on, and maybe keep a little pressure on," Schmitt said.

Schmitt says there is also hope that the state legislature will consider changes to how much power cities have over the liquor licensing process.  Currently, a few communities are pushing for such changes, which could allow cities to limit the number of liquor stores allowed.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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