2 a.m. closing? Council unsure

TRUMAN – Truman City Council delayed action Monday that would amend an ordinance to allow bars to extend the closing time for on-sale liquor sales to 2 a.m.

According to the council minutes from Oct. 21, Kirk Langvardt, owner of Aardvark’s Bar and Grill in Truman expressed some concerns over the current ordinance mandating a 1 a.m. closing time, which allows his customers to go to an establishment with a later closing time. Although a new ordinance amending the closing time to 2 a.m. has been drafted, the council decided to delay any action until more input was received.

Councilwoman Kathy Hendricksen said she had heard from four households located near Aardvark’s, all of which told her: “We don’t want to deal with it (2 a.m. closing).”

Truman resident LeRoy Diekmann also voiced his opposition to the extended hours, citing drunk driving statics and data about alcohol-related deaths.

“Martin County had 87 drunk drivers (arrested) in 2012,” he said, adding that statewide, for the same year, there were 104 alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths.

Yet the issue that concerned him the most was the effect that additional time for alcohol consumption would have domestically.

“Consider the family,” he said.

Police Chief Justin Jobe also stressed the need for more dialogue between the council, the bar owners and law enforcement.

“I’m not trying to pick on them, but we had a problem during Truman Days, and at the beginning of October, we had a problem,” Jobe said. He explained that recently there was an instance when there were more than a dozen cars parked in Aardvark’s lot until almost 2 a.m.

Jobe admits he doesn’t know what kind of car everybody drives, but he has “a hard time believing the cars all belonged to employees or band members.”

“We need to bring them in here to address a few issues, and also the neighbors,” Councilman Jake Ebert said.

Other council members concurred that additional conversations between the concerned parties were needed. They delayed any action until their next meeting on Nov. 18 when interested parties can express their opinions.

In other business, the council voted to offer the job of public works worker to Heath Hendricksen. Councilwoman Hendricksen abstained from the vote because Heath is a family member.

The council also accepted a $5,000 donation from Dennis and Pam Rode for the miniature golf course, which is scheduled to be open by the swimming pool next year.