City Council discusses After Hours Clubs

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After hour bars were on the minds of city council members during their meeting Tuesday evening.

On a vote of 5 to nothing, the council approved a resolution placing a one year moratorium on the issuance of new licenses for after hour businesses. After hour bars operate after local bars and taverns close as required by law.

Patrons are allowed to bring their own alcohol and no alcohol is sold on the premises. This resolution would exempt the proper renewal of an existing license.

The owner of the Elbow Room agreed to close the businesses after it was learned the establishment is in violation of several city codes. The license for the Elbow Room is up for renewal in February. Ottumwa Mayor Tom Lazio told the council he feels all the violations against the Elbow Room may take longer than next February to fix.

Earlier during the meeting, City Administrator Joe Helfinberger told the council there is an on going investigation into several violations of the city fire code and said those violations must be corrected before the Elbow Room can reopen.

Also during last night’s meeting, the council approved a resolution that transfers ownership of Market on Main from Ottumwa Property Redevelopment Company formerly known as Ottumwa Progress Incorporated to the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation.

Brad Little Executive Director of Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation told the city council he wants to assure everyone involved with the project that their investment is good. He also noted a number of businesses are using the front portion of Market on Main for Christmas parties and meetings and he invited other businesses to do the same thing. Little also told the council we all need to work together to see Market on Main success.

Mayor Tom Lazio told KBIZ news earlier this week the Legacy Foundation is hiring the services of a Consulting firm from Cedar Rapids to help stabilize Market on Main and to get it back on track.