Council approves license for Salt Mine
City goes against landlord’s wishes
A local drinking establishment has its cereal malt beverage license for 2004 despite objections from the building's landlord.
The Baldwin City Council approved a cereal malt beverage license, which allows for the sale of 3.2 percent alcohol, for the Salt Mine and its manager Mike Magers, even though Gary Culley argued the business had not met the requirements for the license.
Three other cereal malt beverage licenses -- Walt's Pizza Cafe, Santa Fe Market and Kwik Shop -- were unanimously approved along with the Salt Mine's license by the council members in attendance at Monday's meeting. Council Member Amy Cleavinger was absent.
At the Dec. 3 council meeting, Culley asked the council to rescind the cereal malt beverage license the city had granted the business for the remainder of 2003.
"Mike's there without a contract, without a lease and not paying any rent," he said at the Dec. 3 meeting. "He's doing business as usual and I have a heck of a problem with that."
Culley also told the council he believed the bar shouldn't be granted a license because background checks on the bar's employees had not been done for the cereal malt beverage license.
The council granted Magers a cereal malt beverage license for the remainder of 2003 at its Nov. 3 meeting after the bar had to close because it no longer had a liquor license.
Magers told the Signal in November the Salt Mine, 301 Ames St., had to close briefly because it no longer had a lease and the state Alcohol Beverage Control requires a lease or deed for a business to have a liquor license.
Magers, who has operated the business for five years, said he and landlord Culley have a lease-to-purchase agreement on the building, but Culley did not renew Magers' lease.
At Monday's meeting, Council Member Ken Wagner asked if the council could approve a license for a business that did not have a lease.
City Attorney Matt Hoy said no proof of a lease is needed either under state statute or city ordinance to obtain a cereal malt beverage license.
"It's simply not a requirement of the city to issue a license," Hoy said.
Under state statute or city ordinance, he said, background checks are not required on employees, but the city ordinance states the police chief will conduct an investigation of the applicant.
Baldwin police officer Eric Garcia told the council background checks had been conducted on each license applicant, but the police department had not received the results from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
Hoy said if anything is found with the background checks, the license can be suspended and eventually revoked.
Magers told the council he thought he qualified for the license by meeting the state statute and the city ordinance regulations.
Culley said he disagreed for the same reasons he stated at the previous meeting.
"I said what I had to say last time," he said. "You know what I asked for."
In other business, the city council:
- Approved in a 4-0 vote an amended 2003 budget, which includes the water bond and interest fund at $944,000, the CDBG 2001 wastewater treatment plant fund for $15,000, the water utility reserve fund for $45,000 and the wastewater utility reserve fund for $9,000.
The city will pay off the water tower loan in the water bond fund this year instead of next, which City Clerk Peggy Nichols said will save the city $6,600 in interest fees.
Nichols said the city also decided to use some of its reserve money this year to help decrease the loan amounts that would be needed for expenditures.
- Approved in a 4-0 vote the annexing of a section of land which adjoins the northern and western boundaries of FireTree Estates.
- Approved in a 4-0 vote the final plat of lot 5, block 2 of FireTree Estates.
- Did not take any action following a 55-minute executive session for attorney-client privilege.