|By G. Michael Dobbs|
SPRINGFIELD The Springfield Board of License Commissioners will be conducting a final hearing on Sept. 14 for businesses that hold a city license but owe the city back taxes.
At the Board's Aug. 21 meeting one restaurant holding a common victualler license, 18 businesses with auto class 2 licenses and one with an auto Class 3 license were asked to appear before the Board to explain how and when they were going to pay the taxes.
Some business owners appeared and said they would make arrangements with the Collector's Office to pay the taxes. Others noted, with frustration, that bills were sent to incorrect addresses or were for taxes that may have already been paid.
The Board does not send out the bills, but must enforce their payment if a business holds a license.
The businesses that did not send a representative to discuss their tax status included: Argo Automotive; Big D Towing and Sales; Carew Auto Repair; Michaels Auto Sales; Orchard Car Company; Pafumi Auto Care City; Primo's Auto Center; Pro Clean Auto Detail; Quality Rydes; Robert Flanagan; Select Imports; and VJ Auto Sales.
In other action, The Board imposed a six-day suspension of the alcohol license for the Daiquiri Factory on Worthington Street.
The Board cited incidents on Dec. 23, 2005, Feb. 12 and March 19 resulted in six counts against the bar that included assault and battery; failure to report a disturbance; hindering an investigation; failure to abide by local closing regulation; and drinking after hours.
Attorney Peter Murphy, representing manager Michael Craig, said his client would stipulate to the fact of the cases and take responsibility.
Craig told the Board that he works 30 to 40 hours a week in the bar. The Board typically hears that bar managers work from 50 to 60 hours. Board Chair Peter Sygnator reminded Craig that the manager on record is the person legally responsible for what happens at a bar whether or not he or she is there.
Police reports indicated that Craig was not present at the time of any of the incidents.
Murphy said his client is willing to be present at the bar during peak times. Sygnator said the Board expects to see Craig at the bar from 10 p.m. until closing Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
"One more incident is going to put you over the line," Commissioner Robert Casey told Craig.
The bar will be closed two successive weeks on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in October. The dates have yet to be determined.