Rifle liquor businesses will face new, refundable training fee
Citizen Telegram Editor
Liquor-licensed businesses in Rifle will have to pay a new fee to meet a city requirement this month.
But they’ll get that money back, if their employees attend and complete responsible serving/selling of alcohol training offered every six months by City Clerk Lisa Cain.
She told City Council during an Aug. 7 workshop that while the city requires employees of liquor-licensed businesses who serve or sell alcoholic beverages to attend a training session, compliance has been poor.
“The last two classes in July we limited to 21 people, because if you have a really large group, it’s hard to teach them all they need to know,” Cain said. “So we were turning people away, but on the day of the classes, we only had five people show up to each class.”
To get better compliance, Cain proposed a $50 deposit per employee that needs the training. The resulting certification as a responsible server is good for three years, she added.
For possibly 20 years, the city’s policy has been to provide the training free of charge, Cain said. When a business’ liquor license is submitted for renewal, they must show proof of their employees completing the training, she added.
“Every employee and manager who sells or serves liquor is supposed to have the training,” Cain said.
Liquor stores, bars, restaurants that serve alcohol, City Market, Kum & Go and other such businesses are included in the requirement, she said.
“If we have servers who serve alcohol without the training, we can ask the police department to write up that business and employee for a code violation,” Cain noted. “That leads to a hearing with a possible license suspension or a fine.”
City Councilman Keith Lambert said the intent of the possible penalties is not to drive a non-complying business to shut its doors.
“It’s just a good way to make them aware they need to be compliant,” he added.
Cain said she will start requiring the $50 deposit for classes scheduled for the end of September.
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