BY MICHAEL MILLER
For RiverReader.org

Savanna — City officials in Savanna may soon be able to acquire and operate liquor licenses, thanks to a revised ordinance discussed on Tuesday, July 24th at the city council’s regular meeting.

The city’s previous liquor license ordinance had not allowed the mayor or any city official to possess such a license, but City Attorney Phil Jensen said that the revised ordinance merely puts the city in step with state law, which allows municipalities with populations under 55,000 such latitude.  He noted it’s quite common for smaller towns to make such an allowance.  He also noted that for Savanna, this means that Mayor Chris Lain can no longer function as liquor commissioner, since he will now possess a liquor license at his new place of business, Ca. 1888.

The ordinance was approved in its first reading only, with the second reading to follow at the next regularly scheduled meeting (August 14th).

The topic of the new commissioner was on the agenda at the meeting but was tabled for the time being.

The council also passed the first reading of an ordinance which would allow the operation of golf carts and UTVs within city limits.  Users would have to conform to a list of requirements and regulations, including proof of insurance, vehicle inspection, registration with the city, and other items.  This ordinance was only approved on first reading, with the second to follow next meeting.

Ordinances: Returned Check Fee to Rise, Fingerprinting for Liquor Licenses, Age Restriction Warning Signs

The committee also recommended to the council to increase the fee for returned checks from $20.00 to $30.00.  The council approved the recommendation, waiving the second reading, with Alderman Christine Lee the sole “nay” vote.

An ordinance changing the wording of the current ordinance on liquor license applications to read that applicants for such a license (as part of the required in the background check) “must be provided by going to a professional live-scan (electronic fingerprinting service, approved by the City).”  This would retract previous language stating the fingerprinting could be done by the Savanna Police Department.

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This ordinance change was approved on its first reading, with the second reading being waived.

An ordinance requiring that warning signs for businesses possessing a liquor license regarding fine for age misrepresentation will be supplied by the state of Illinois, and not the Savanna city clerk or comptroller.

This ordinance was approved, with the second reading being waived.  Lee advocated stricter enforcement of the portion of the ordinance that states such signs are required to be on the exterior of the building.

Lee also urged stricter enforcement of the prohibition on drinking on the sidewalks, noting that this has become an issue downtown.

 The council also approved temporary closure of Route 84 from Division to Chicago as well as Third Street, for the annual West Carroll Homecoming Parade, to be held on September 13th, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Bike Trail Bridge Repairs and Closure

Public Works Superintendent John Lindeman told the council that repairs have begun on the bike trail bridge, and that the bridge will likely be closed from July 25th to August 3rd.

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