Council renews liquor licenses for three SIST stores

Shawano Leader, Wisconsin/January 14, 2010

Beer licenses were approved Wednesday for three gas station convenience stores operated by a subsidiary of the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology, Inc., but beer and liquor licenses for the Kiryat Hotel, owned by another SIST subsidiary, will have to wait.

The Shawano Common Council delayed approval for the Kiryat pending the resolution of a municipal court case involving the hotel's alleged refusal to allow Shawano Police into the bar for a premise check.

City Attorney Tim Schmid said several citations have been issued to the Kiryat, some of which were upheld in municipal court and one of which was dismissed.

Schmid said the court has taken the pending case under advisement and has not ruled on it.

"That could happen tomorrow, it could happen next month or in 60 days, I don't know," Schmid said.

Council President Woody Davis also raised concerns about certain weekend activities at the hotel and said there have been complaints from constituents.

Davis offered a motion to delay the beer and liquor licenses until a court decision is made on the pending case. The motion was unanimously approved.

The council then voted to approve beer licenses for the three People's Express gas stations owned by SIST subsidiary Midwest Oil of Wisconsin – but not before one alderman sought to question those licenses as well.

"Would it be prudent to deny them on past practices or past history?" Alderman Brian Retzlaff asked.

Schmid said while there has been some history with the parent corporation SIST, there have been no issues with the three gas station locations similar to what had occurred at the Kiryat.

Retzlaff cast the sole no vote on granting the gas station licenses.

SIST businesses had been without licenses for beer, liquor, tobacco, soda and amusements since July 2008 due to unpaid property and motel room taxes.

SIST paid off its taxes late last month and was issued licenses for tobacco, soda and amusements, but beer and liquor licenses require Common Council approval.

Attorney Rebekah Nett, who said she is part of the Kiryat management, said she didn't understand why the council took its action or what the resolution of the court case had to do with the matter.

"If the agent was wrong (to deny access to the officers), we know we can't do that again," she said. "He has to allow them in."

Schmid said there have been no other comparable situations in the city.

"We haven't had any other establishments do this," he said, adding the number of citations were also an issue.

Other citations have included failure to light the premises and operation after hours, he said.

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