Branson’s new liquor ordinance implementation moving forward

The city of Branson is moving ahead with the planning and actions necessary to implement its new liquor control ordinances (LCOs). At the Nov. 20 work session meeting of the city of Branson’s Board of Aldermen, city Finance Director Lori Helle, gave the board a status report on the process thus far. Under the LCOs the primary responsibility for oversight, civil enforcement, and administration of the ordinances is assigned to a position designated as the “Director.”

In the LCOs the city’s Finance Director is designated as the “Director.” The LCOs also provides that the Director, with the approval of the city administrator, shall designate a Liquor Control Specialist. Helle announced the appointment of Carl Garrett as the Licensing & Tax Compliance Supervisor which will include the duties of the Liquor Control Specialist. Garrett has been with the city finance department for a number of years and has been involved in various activities involving the administration of enforcement of issues involving the collection of city taxes and business permits.

As part of the process, personnel from the Missouri Division of Alcohol & Tobacco Control will be coming to Branson in early Dec. to offer assistance to the city as it transitions into its new LCOs. This will involve, among other things, a review of processes, forms and applications that the city might use as it it implements the new LCOs

Helle said it is anticipated that notice letters will be sent out to all current liquor licensees during the 2nd week of Dec. The letters will contain information on how the LCOs will impact them, their business, what they need to do to comply, when they have to comply, where they need to go for background and fingerprinting checks and other applicable information.

One of the major impacts of the LCO is the requirement for a criminal history report. Sub section 10-11 of the LCOs requires that “The director or their designated liquor control specialist, or the police department shall obtain criminal history reports for each individual and shall charge each individual a fee in such amounts as shall be necessary to defray the cost of the city in obtaining criminal history reports for each individual.”

At the work session there was discussion on the fact that the criminal history would require finger printing. Helle said that fingerprinting would have to be done in Springfield and the results sent to the city.

Helle pointed out some of the other major considerations of the implementation of the LCOs such as employee training, the $250.00 per year application fee and another $50.00 per year for a Secondary License for Sunday sales. She said that each applicant will be required to list all employees that come in contact with alcohol and will be required to show proof that those employees have been trained before a license can be issued.

Helle said that from an application and registration perspective, the new LCOs will only effect new applicants after Jan. 1, 2009 and will not impact anyone holding a current license until its renewal by June 30, 2009. Helle said that renewal letters will go out to current license holders by the end of March so that everyone has plenty of time to comply with the new changes.

Furnished Courtesy of the Branson Daily Independent.

About Gary Groman aka The Ole Seagull

Editor of The Branson Courier
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