City considers altering process of issuing bartender licenses

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BELOIT - Future changes are expected to the City of Beloit's procedures in issuing bartender operating licenses.

City Attorney Elizabeth Krueger said she will be drafting updates to the city's municipal code over the "next several weeks" for consideration by the Beloit City Council.

A city workshop hosted by Krueger and attended by city councilors earlier this week expanded on a training session held last year with city officials and the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project reviewing bartender licensing in Beloit.

The city hopes to set parameters that will allow city staff to better review applications, ensure application revisions can be made more easily by potential license holders and develop new procedures for processing applications.

Going forward, the city will weigh process options for all applications, which are currently reviewed by the city's Alcohol Beverage License Control Committee and city council.

The ongoing changes follow a series of changes to the city's licensing protocols. A new application process was implemented in March of 2017 that city staff said was more accurate for making final decisions to approve or deny a bartending license.

Previously officials said some applicants who were approved in the past should not have been approved due to past criminal backgrounds that were overlooked.

The new form clearly lists multiple instances that could prevent a license being issued, including giving false or incomplete information, an arrest or conviction that is alcohol-related or being a habitual criminal offender.

City Clerk-Treasurer Lori Stottler said the new form is in line with 25 other Wisconsin municipalities and similar forms.

According to Stottler's office, 682 bartender licenses have been issued in the current license period that started July of 2017 and runs through June 30, 2019. From July of 2017 to present, 18 applicants have been denied a license.

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