Hannibal bar owner's request for aldermen to reconsider fine turned down

Posted: Aug. 20, 2014 9:52 am Updated: Sep. 10, 2014 10:15 am

By ALYSE THOMPSONHerald-Whig Staff Writer

The Hannibal City Council sustained a $500 administrative penalty imposed on Game On Sports Bar & Grill, 211 Munger Lane, for two convictions of selling alcohol to minors.

Vicki Cassady, Game On manager and part owner, requested Tuesday that the council reconsider the fine due to circumstances surrounding one of the incidents and the establishment's continued efforts to train employees on checking identification.

Cassady said a waitress, one month after the restaurant's opening date, misread a patron's ID card on Nov. 9, 2013, and reportedly served her alcohol one day before her 21st birthday. However, Hannibal Police Chief Lyndell Davis said an employee's tenure does not affect the law's application.

The other incident involved a May 21, 2014, sale to a minor, and Cassady said there was no explanation for the infraction.

"We really have no legitimate excuse for that," she said. "We do train our employees to the best of our ability. We do realize, however, it is our ultimate responsibility. We have taken further steps since that time to make sure it never happens again."

Aldermen Kevin Knickerbocker and Barry Louderman said if the city granted the appeal, it would undermine an ordinance crafted in 2008 with recommendations from bar owners and open the door for additional appeals.

Davis agreed, noting the ordinance was passed to crack down on frequent liquor underage sales. A memorandum from City Manager Jeff LaGarce indicated Hannibal's current compliance rate is 83 percent.

"This is a slippery slope for the city to go on," Davis said.

In other action, the Hannibal City Council:

º Approved the $264,800.50 purchase of 11 2014 Ford Police Interceptors. Davis said these vehicles will feature video equipment, as well as all-wheel drive, a necessity after recent seasons with inclement weather. The purchase is part of the city's five-year capital improvement plan.

º Set a Sept. 2 public hearing for the 2014 property tax levy to begin at 6:45 p.m.

º Granted the Historic Hannibal Marketing Council's street closure request for the 2015 Twain on Main event.

º Appointed Jeriod Turner and Tom Batenhorst to the Hannibal Park Board with respective terms to expire in July 2017 and July 2016.

º Approved Yancey Auction Services conducting the city auction on Sept. 27.