The city of Springfield may be changing the way it approves liquor licenses for businesses.
At city council, concerns were brought up about how quickly the city responds to owners seeking a liquor license. Now aldermen are taking a look at the process to see if it needs to be reformed.
Alderwoman LaKeisha Purchase thinks there should be a set time in which the city has to reply.
“Whether its concerns, approval or denials, ” said Purchase. “But if there’s concerns you have 30, 60, or 90 days to get that information back in to do a rebuttal.”
Alderman Joe McMemenamin says there are many steps to get a liquor license that take time like a background check and making sure applicants are not in debt to the city. McMemenamin thinks overall its better to be strict.
“It’s a review process, “said McMenamin. “Off course if we make a mistake, we’ll get into trouble but if we review too carefully we can upset some people. But bottom line it’s a privilege not a right.”
Downtown business owner Anthony Dandrudge says it took months to hear back from his previous alderman but once a new member was appointed the ball got rolling.
“Don’t hide anything, “said Dandrudge, the owner of Truth Lounge. “Be extremely and fully transparent. Have all your paperwork and documentation ready.”
Alderman Chuck Redpath thinks background checks aren’t necessary for a liquor license and says all permits for the city need a quicker turnaround time.
“We need to find a better way to do it, ” said Redpath. ” So we can speed up the process to get peoples their permits faster on all fronts but liquor license is the one we are concentrating on right now.”
Alderwoman Purchase says Mayor Langfelder, who is also the city’s liquor commissioner is looking into crafting ordinance that sets a firm timeframe for when the city has to respond to businesses for all permits not just liquor licenses.
We reached out to the Mayor’s office about wait times for liquor licenses and have not received a response at this time.