One of the city’s most active churches now possesses a regular liquor license and can sell or dispense alcoholic beverages at its discretion.
During its most recent meeting, the St. Clair Board of Aldermen approved Holy Trinity Lutheran Church congregation President Russ Jackson’s request for the license.
“Several times over the year, we get picnic licenses approved for the church,” Jackson told the aldermen. “It will just make it a whole lot simpler for us to get a (regular) license.”
Jackson said the church plays host to many functions over the course of a year, including wedding receptions, banquets, auctions and church-related functions. He also said there is competition to house those kinds of events, and other venues have an advantage because they have a regular liquor license.
“We put (a lot of money) back into the community,” Jackson said. “And some of our programs are very expensive to run. It’s just time for us to move on and compete with others in the area and get a liquor license.”
Before the decision was made to approve the request, Mayor Ron Blum reminded the aldermen that if the license was granted, the church could sell packaged liquor as well as alcohol by the glass.
“It’s a full license,” Blum said.
Ward 2 Alderman Travis Dierker asked Jackson if granting the license would bring any changes as to how the church operates when it plays host to the various functions.
“Nothing will change with what’s going on now, right?” he asked.
“Right,” Jackson said. “This just gives us options. No one will know that anything is different. We will just have the actual license.”
Jackson also emphasized that if he has anything to do with it, “you never will see a five-day-a-week bar at the church.
“I will control what happens,” he said.
Jackson also said underage drinking will not be tolerated.
“You will have to have proof of your age to drink,” he said. “We think we have everything covered.”
Ward 1 Alderman Zach Fuchs made the motion to grant the license. Dierker provided the second.
City Administrator Rick Childers told The Missourian after the June 4 meeting that Holy Trinity is the first church in St. Clair to obtain a regular liquor license. Other churches have obtained one-day picnic licenses in the past.
The aldermen also unanimously approved paying more money than was budgeted to MIRMA, the self-insurance pool created and owned entirely by participating municipalities, including St. Clair.
MIRMA, the Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association, sends the city its annual assessment for its upcoming fiscal year. The invoice is for $158,083. The city’s budgeted amount is $150,499.
Approval was needed for the $7,584 expenditure above the budgeted amount.
“Essentially, MIRMA is the city’s insurance carrier,” Childers said. “Every year, they assess what we have to pay for next year. We never know exactly what it’s going to be.
“Since it’s higher than the budgeted amount, we need a motion from the board to approve it.”
“We don’t have much choice, do we?” Ward 1 Alderman Nathan Tate asked Childers.
“We could look for someone else, but not really,” Childers said in response.
In other business, the aldermen supported a recommendation from the Missouri Department of Transportation to remove the streetlight at the intersection of the West North Service Road and Peterson Street. With the configuration changed to that intersection and the addition of retro-reflectivity standards to new signage, the light now is unnecessary.