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      Hannibal council adds teeth to liquor ordinance

      City council meeting

      It was a busy night at the Tuesday night Hannibal City Council meeting.

      After a recent death at a Hannibal bar, the city began to review city ordinances and discovered that there was no effective way to deal with bars where patrons get out of hand.

      The city council voted to replace a part of the ordinance, allowing the city to take action against bars and bar owners whose patrons cause problems.

      4th Ward Councilman Barry Louderman says before this change the city had no way to revoke a bars liquor license.

      "What I think this will do is it will help them to police themselves much more than they do now because there's a clear cut path for that." Councilman Louderman said.

      Hannibal Police Chief Lyndell Davis says that in the past, revoking a liquor license was something the state did, but that enforcement has been greatly reduced because of budget cuts.

      He says this ordinance will not be a problem for any bar that is well managed but the change gives the city the ability to act if a bar gets out of hand.

      "There's a system there where they'll be warned and the city can actually, you know, take proactive action," Chief Davis said. "Not through court or through a fine, but basically by sanctioning their license, by suspending their license or in worst case scenario revoking their license."

      The measure went into effect immediately.

      The city council also approved a plan to refinance and pay off its 2008 bonds early.

      And a first reading was given to an ordinance for a municipal election in November considering whether or not to add one dollar and 90 cents to utility bills for recycling.