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Restaurants and bars can get their liquor licenses faster in Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS — A new city ordinance lets the city clerk issue liquor licenses without having to wait for city council approval.

In an effort to streamline liquor licensing, the City Council passed a new ordinance Thursday allowing restaurants and bars to get a city liquor license from the city clerk. Previously, these businesses had to wait for the City Council to meet and vote to approve their licenses before they could begin selling alcohol.

“It became clear to us that we had a procedure that seemed to slow down business. We thought if there’s a way to streamline this, let’s do it,” Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper told EastIdahoNews.com.

Casper said the City Council began looking into amending the previous ordinance when a business came to them saying they couldn’t wait the two to three weeks for a City Council vote.

The ordinance still requires establishments wishing to sell alcohol to obtain state and county licenses, then fill out an application with the city clerk. After the clerk approves the license, the City Council will ratify the clerk’s decision during the next City Council meeting.

The ordinance also changed when licenses expire. Instead of expiring Dec. 31, they now expire Sept. 30, the same date county and state licenses expire.

“There was this extra inconvenience for businesses with licenses in Idaho Falls because they would have to renew the state and county licenses in September, then have to remember to come back to the city later in December,” Casper said.

Casper said she feels good about how the city’s ordinance is now streamlined.

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