At its Tuesday meeting, the Craig City Council:
• Accepted a U.S. flag from the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post 4265 and American Legion Post 62. Councilor Ray Beck said it was an honor to accept the gift in remembrance of sacrifices made by American soldiers.
• Awarded an $11,369 bid to Pam's Designs for new tile to install in the City Park pool entry area. It was the only bid of three that was complete and on time.
• Approved the first reading of an ordinance to increase fees on residential and commercial trash collection, and also approved the first reading of an ordinance to raise water and sewer rates.
• Approved the first reading of the 2009 city budget. The only change that has been made was to eliminate a purchase for a Craig Police Department motorcycle and put the money toward speed signs at a net spending reduction of about $6,000.
• Signed a letter of support for the National Mining Association's "Position on Climate Change Policies." The document requests that state and federal legislators not forget about the need and demand for fossil fuel-based energy.
Local business owners have seemingly taken notice of the Craig City Council's tougher stance on liquor licenses.
A total of nine liquor license renewals and approvals were up for discussion at the council's meeting Tuesday, and representatives for each applicant were present at City Hall to answer the council's questions and concerns.
Councilor Terry Carwile wanted to hear specifically from those businesses that were cited more than once for selling alcohol to minors. Safeway was the only such business on the council's agenda.
Other applicants approved were The Memorial Hospital, Dark Horse Liquor, Elk Liquor Store, Ocean Pearl, OP Bar & Grill, Fiesta Jalisco, JW Snacks Gulf Coast Bar and BBQ and El Ranchero Restaurant.
Safeway Store Manager Fred Hudson said he has taken it upon himself to educate the store's employees about not only the law, but also the penalties that employees face when they are caught selling alcohol to minors.
He said the attitude amongst his staff has changed now that they know the steep fines and other consequences.
"We've taken it very seriously as a store to no longer sell to minors," Hudson said. "We should not have any more going on."
Hudson added that his employees know firsthand how anyone on staff being caught can affect them personally, as all of their hours were cut when Safeway was prohibited from selling alcohol for a short time.
Although he was not called before council, Danny Griffith spoke on behalf of himself and other liquor license holders in Craig.
Griffith's business, JW Snacks, has not been cited twice for selling to underage buyers, but was cited in the Craig Police Department's most recent compliance check in May.
"We're with the council," Griffith said. "We approve of what the council has done (regarding underage drinking) and we hope you approve what we have done. It is a privilege, not a right, it is a privilege to sell alcohol."
However, local businesses are not the main culprit, Griffith said. It's the parents, siblings and older friends that buy alcohol legally and then give it to a minor.