Waterloo City Council votes to deny Prime Mart liquor license - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo City Council votes to deny Prime Mart liquor license

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - On a weekday, the Prime Mart on Broadway Street in Waterloo is a busy place.

On Monday, city council members voted to deny the renewal of its liquor license, despite the business meeting the necessary criteria.

"I think how the law states, we have no choice but to give them their license," said Dan Trelka, Director of Safety Services. 

Even so, council members who voted against the renewal say recent violence influenced their vote.

Just this week, police arrested three people after a report of shots fired and a stabbing on Friday night.

"Those episodes don't happen virtually anywhere except at these kind of establishments, so that's why they need, I think, a tighter leash or a tighter noose or whatever term you want to use, but just need a lot tighter criteria," said Steve Schmitt, Waterloo City Council member. 

Trelka says it's not entirely the business's fault.

"And generally, these are problems that spill over from other areas in the city," said Trelka. 

Other council members believe there isn't legal ground to shut down the renewal too.

Trelka says this is a bigger problem.

"I wish the city had the ability to more easily regulate how many businesses in our community sell alcohol," he said.

He says that comes from the state, and they need more tools to regulate it.

The Prime Mart's liquor license expired March 31, but the business can continue to sell alcohol while they appeal to the State of Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division.

KWWL tried to catch up with the owners Tuesday, but was told they're out of town.
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