Alcohol task force to test compliance
Jefferson County Alcohol Task Force will conduct another underage purchasing compliance check in the county next month.
Don Sanders, director of the task force, told the county supervisors Monday that an April compliance check of alcohol retailers had a 40 percent failure rate for selling alcohol to minors.
“Since then, we were approached by Fairfield for help,” said Sanders. “We held a public hearing about free training for retailers selling alcohol and four retailers showed up.
“They liked the idea about free training; they didn’t like ideas about it being mandatory.”
Sanders said the task force sent letters to all 45 alcohol retailers in the county Aug. 14 and 15, and followed up with personal visits to the establishments.
“We told them about the September compliance check coming up, and talked about the free training provided,” he said. “We have two more retailers we haven’t made contact with because of scheduling.”
The task force offered training to volunteers who served beer at the beverage garden for Fairfield’s RAGBRAI; 68 people took the training, which includes verifying identification, how to know when to stop serving someone and other issues around alcohol.
“We’d like to see a training certificate along with each application for a liquor license,” said Sanders.
Retail establishments that are certified in the alcohol training can receive a one-time free pass if their establishment is caught selling or serving alcohol to underage persons.
The employee selling or serving will face legal consequences, but the retail owner will not, for the first instance only.
Supervisor Dick Reed reported on committee meetings he attended the past week, including Pathfinders Resource Conservation and Development, which met at Tracht Farm.
“Pathfinders is signing up Tracht Farm for rural water,” he said. “All this time it’s used pond water, and anyone renting the facility had to bring in their own drinking water.”
Jefferson County Park has offered to include information about the farm and its facilities available to the public when inquiries are made about the park’s rental cabins.
The Dale Kraus Cabin is available to rent on the farm. It offers two full-sized futons, without bedding, has an indoor restroom with a shower, but is not handicapped accessible. More information is available on the website pathfindersrcd.org under the Tracht Farm name.
At the Aug. 19 Jefferson County Board of Supervisors meeting, Sheriff Gregg Morton said a truck had bottomed out and got stuck crossing railroad tracks in Lockridge.
“It stopped all the trains for a while,” he said. “The grade is very steep. We’ve had two or three semis stuck there that I remember.”
Reed asked how long the sheriff or deputies are responsible to stay at a scene like that.
“The whole time,” said Morton. “We have to direct traffic.”
Supervisor chairman Lee Dimmitt said the steep grade and trucks getting stuck on the rails is a railroad problem.
“I also see it as a county problem,” said Reed. “It’s a safety problem.”
Morton said he called the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.
“They sent out a guy and a railway inspector,” said Morton. “I told them this was not the first time it’s happened.”
Dimmitt said the county should get with Henry County (the track is near the two counties’ separating boundary) and send a letter to the railway concerning a solution to the steep grade.
“I’ll be glad to sign-off on that letter,” said Morton.