Waterloo talks taverns, car wash

Longtime zoning board member Ron Kaempfe (second from right) was presented with a plaque Monday night upon his retirement after 14 years of service to the city.

The Waterloo City Council on Monday night swore in the mayor and other officials to new terms in office, clarified some statutes for tavern owners and amended zoning code for a proposed new car wash to come to town.

Mayor Tom Smith, City Clerk Barb Pace, Treasurer  Brad Papenberg and aldermen Steve Notheisen, Jim Hopkins, Stan Darter and Clyde Heller were all administered the oath of office for new terms. All had run unopposed in the April election. 

The mayoral appointments of Tim Birk as public works director, Shawn Kennedy as collector/budget officer, Sarah Deutch as community relations coordinator, Jim Nagel as zoning administrator, Nathan Krebel as building inspector/code administrator, Mike Douglas as police chief, Dan Hayes as city attorney and Jessica Rucks as human resources coordinator were all approved by the council. 

Jered Gallagher of Uncle John’s RRR Bar at 141 S. Main Street approached the council for clarification on a certified letter his tavern recently received on ordinances involving open liquor and noise.

Smith said Uncle John’s, Fourth Street Bar and Gallagher’s Restaurant all received the same letter because they are not members of the Monroe County Retail Liquor Association. All other taverns in town were notified of the existing city ordinances through this association, he said.

The first matter Gallagher brought up was enforcement of taverns serving drinks in “to-go” cups for patrons to leave the establishment.

“It’s been illegal from the get-go,” Smith said. “You can serve in a to-go cup, but you’re not supposed to leave the building.”

“There’s gonna be no one walking around on the streets with plastic cups anywhere?” Gallagher asked. 

“Not unless it’s a special event,” Smith replied.

As for the noise ordinance, city code states that an establishment shall not emit “loud and raucous” noise that can be heard from 50 feet away from its source.

Gallagher said that if interpreted strictly, the ordinance doesn’t allow his tavern to project music from the back of its building to the rear of its patio.

“I understand,” Smith said. “We’re just trying to play it by common sense.”

“This isn’t gonna be ‘We’re gonna come out with a meter from 50 feet?’” Gallagher asked.

“Common sense,” Smith replied. “If you have music and we can hear it all the way down the other end of the street, somebody’s going to come see you.”

Loud and raucous noise is defined in the ordinance as “any sound which, because of volume level, duration and character, annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, health, peace or safety” of residents. 

Music should be shut off by 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends, Smith added. 

Uncle John’s RRR Bar was cited for violating the noise ordinance the evening of April 21 after multiple complaints were filed by residents.

In other news from the meeting, aldermen voted to amend city zoning code to add car washes as a special use permitted business in areas zoned as B-3. 

This paves the way for a new car wash to be built next to McDonald’s near Schnucks. The project previously received approval by the planning commission and zoning board. 

The owner of the proposed new business, Mike Kostelac of Millstadt, said it will be similar to the BriteWorx CarWashery located next to Columbia’s Hampton Inn. 

Kostelac told the council he hopes to break ground on the project in 60 to 90 days with a construction period of four to five months. He’s hopeful to be open by Thanksgiving.

The project designer, Nick Spallone of CarWashProDesigners, said this car wash will look similar to a bank and will be eco-friendly.

“We’re not in competition with the guy down the street,” he said. “He’s got his own thing going.”

Retiring zoning board member Ron Kaempfe was honored for this 14 years of service to the city. Lauren Poettker was appointed as his replacing, accepting a five-year term.

Gary Schroeder was appointed to the police pension board for a two-year term.

Brandon S. Braye was sworn in as a probationary police officer for the city. Braye previously served on the Southwestern Illinois College Police Department and was working part-time for New Baden police. 

Lastly, the council approved the donation of three retired police vehicles to House of Neighborly Service in Monroe County, a not-for-profit organization.

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