Scott City restores liquor licenses of two businesses

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Police chief makes known difficulty in securing grant money.

The Scott City Council voted unanimously to extend the liquor licenses of Rhodes Travel Center and Larry's Store 24 until July 2007.

The decision had been in question ever since the two stores failed police checks by selling alcohol to minors late last year and early this year.

The council felt comfortable reissuing the licenses after police Chief Don Cobb announced that Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco officers came to town Sept. 22 and gave local vendors a 100 percent pass rating for carding practices.

Additionally, all employees at the offending stores received training at local seminars. The stores also installed cash register buttons automated to lock the register drawer until a customer's birthdate is entered.

Council members applauded the steps and asked for diligence in the future. "We need to remind them and all businesses that as employees turn over this needs to be a continuing training program," said Councilman Norman Brant.

In other news, Cobb announced the police department is having trouble securing grant money at levels equal to previous years. Most notable is Local Law Enforcement Block Grant money; federal dollars allocated by Missouri. Cobb said this grant, which is specifically designed for small communities, can no longer be used for police vehicles.

Three of the past five cars purchased by the Scott City Police were obtained with the aid of this grant.

"There's no way a town this size can support a police department without significant grant money," said Cobb after the meeting.

"It seems like the funding is drying up all over the place."

Cobb said that in 2005 the police department received more than $100,000 in alternate funding. This year the total will be half that.

And it's not for lack of effort.

"Finding alternate funding is probably 25 percent of my job," he said. "Any police chief not going out and looking for alternate funding at the level of three or four times the amount of his salary isn't doing his job."

tgreaney@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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