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Tiskilwa rejects alcohol training program

TISKILWA — The Tiskilwa Village Board on Tuesday decided in a 4-2 vote to not proceed with requiring certain employees of the village’s bars to go through a training program.

Mayor Randy Philhower and Trustee Dan Acker opposed dropping the requirement while trustees Gene Gustafson, Eric Paull, David Wright and Steve McKinney voted to not pursue bar owners and bartenders taking an educational program about liability issues associated with serving alcohol.

Beverage Alcohol Seller/Server Education Training (BASSET) is designed to encourage sellers/servers of alcohol to serve responsibly and stay within the law. Philhower said at the board’s meeting in November that this training isn’t required in Illinois, but he feels it may be in the future.

Philhower had said the Illinois Liquor Control Commission is “strongly encouraging” bar owners and bartenders to be educated.

Mike McComber, owner of the Indian Valley Inn, told board members Tuesday he opposed this requirement because he deals with enough rules and regulations and dollars going out for liquor licenses from the state and village plus insurance and health department fees without adding another fee for this training.

McComber said this training isn’t required by the state but would take more money out of his profits.

Philhower said he felt the village would be able to pay the fee for the program for the bars if the owners and few bartenders would be certified and then teach other employees what they learned.

Philhower said the Tiskilwa Ambulance Service has dealt with four alcohol-related incidents over the last two years where drivers went across the road into the other lane, not just running off the road.

He said this program would educate those who serve alcohol when to not serve a person who is intoxicated and enlighten employees about the possibility of a lawsuit against them and the business if they serve a person too much alcohol.

Wright and McKinney said most of what they see with this program deals with common sense.

Paull and Gustafson didn’t make any comment prior to the voice vote on establishing an ordinance requiring this training.

In other business, board members approved the Tiskilwa Community Association putting up 15 to 16 banners on poles on Main and Galena streets. TCA representative Jared Piacenti also said the group wants to put in a new sidewalk in front of businesses on the north side of Main Street between the old bank and grocery store next year. Philhower told Piacenti to talk with affected business owners about their plans on how to limit the inconvenience of their customers trying to get into their businesses during the work.

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