New after-hours business ordinance up for discussion

A new city ordinance in Ottumwa is currently up for discussion having to do with after-hour businesses.

Right now, there is only one after-hours business in Ottumwa, the Elbow Room.

Recently a minor was caught on its premises at 1:30 a.m. with alcohol on site.

Currently, the after-hours ordinance applies to businesses operating between 2 and 6 a.m. Therefore, no infraction was cited.

However, city officials said they want those hours to change and that there needs to be tighter enforcement and regulation of after-hours businesses.

â??Looking at a 24-hour application of after-hours establishments if they're licensed as an after-hours establishment. If they're licensed as an after-hours establishment, there would be a ban on people under 18 in that establishment when alcohol is being allowed into the establishment,â?? said Joe Helfenberger, Ottumwa City Administrator.

Helfenberger added that all businesses that serve alcohol should be regulated properly, uniformly and effectively.