WARREN Council seeks hearings on liquor permits

Council gave first reading to an ordinance to expand a citizens committee.
WARREN -- City council has requested local hearings on the renewal of liquor permits for three West Market Street convenience stores.
The three businesses, Austin Beverage, Fast Lane and Amoco Gas & amp; Go., were raided by city police and federal Drug Enforcement agents last month.
Council members passed three resolutions at a special meeting Monday notifying the Ohio Division of Liquor Control of council's objection to the renewal of the 2002-03 permits for the three businesses.
Council previously passed legislation withdrawing its objection to the renewal of Austin Beverage's permit. Councilwoman Susan E. Hartman, D-7th, said the business had agreed to register all of its employees with the city income tax department, conform to the city's property maintenance code and participate in the Cops in Shops program.
"We don't believe they lived up to that agreement," Hartman said.
The resolutions say that all of the businesses have "prior unfavorable enforcement records."
Hartman said the hearings haven't been scheduled. She conceded it's difficult to stop renewal of a liquor permit. A case must be built showing reasons it shouldn't be renewed, the councilwoman said.
Block watch
Council also entertained first reading of an ordinance to expand membership of the city's neighborhood block watch, Safe Streets Inc. Commission. The Safe Streets ordinance would expand the commission from seven to nine members appointed by the mayor and confirmed by a majority of council.
Also, it would, effective Oct. 1, establish a 25-member committee to assist the commission, which would address quality-of-life issues throughout the city from crime to high grass.
Twenty-one members of that committee would be appointed by the council president on the recommendation of members of council. Four committee members would be appointed by the mayor.
Committee members must be confirmed by a majority of commission members.
A Safe Streets committee a few years ago compiled information and kept records used to deny the renewal of a liquor permit for a Palmyra Road store.

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