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Trussville City Council hears from Circle K managers concerning illegal alcohol sales

By Erica Thomas, managing editor

TRUSSVILLE — Representatives from Circle K on Main Street in Trussville were present for the city council meeting on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

The Trussville Police Department has reported three underaged alcohol sales violations in the past 18 months. Two of those violations were reported in the past six months.

Circle K manager Brenda Lomas has been working at the store for 26 years. She said employees are fully trained before getting behind the register.

“We do a lot of training on alcohol sales,” Lomas said. “Then they start to work we train them, they have modules on the computer.”

Lomas said clerks have to sign in before each shift, in order to provide accountability. Council president Jef Freeman asked Lomas what the procedure was for verifying a purchaser is of legal age to buy alcohol. She said they use ID scanners that will not allow the sale of alcohol to anyone underage.

All three employees were immediately terminated after the violations were reported, according to Lomas.

Brad Hannah, marketing manager for Circle K, was also present to address the council. He said once an employee is terminated, they can never work for the company again.

New registers will be installed in the next couple of months, according to Hannah. The registers will use technology to compile reports each day showing what IDs were scanned and what transactions were completed after the IDs were scanned. Hannah said the company is also deploying mystery shoppers to ensure accountability. If a mystery shopper witnesses an incident, a report will be made. Those reports will go against bonuses for managers at the end of the year.

Police Chief Eric Rush said along with these violations, there were a number of incident reports made from the location, but that most of those had nothing to do with the business.

“It’s a central location in the city, so the majority of the reports is not related to the business at all,” Rush said. “A lot of traffic stops, people pull in there.”

Rush said two cars were stolen while people left their cars unlocked at the pump. These incidents should serve as a reminder to people to lock cars while pumping gas and while parked at stores.

Council members said they were pleased with the procedures put in at Circle K to manage alcohol sales.

In other business, the council heard from Zachary Gentile, who had concerns about traffic in one part of Cahaba Manor, where he lives. Gentile said his neighbors are worried that someone will get hit by a car because of reckless driving in the area. His neighborhood would like speed humps installed. Police Chief Rush said the city can do a traffic study in the area to see what can be done. The issue will also have to go through the city’s public safety committee.

Also in the meeting, the city council voted unanimously to rezone property at 7750 Gadsden Highway from C-2 to IN-1 (institution). This move will allow a church to be built in the area. Council member Alan Taylor abstained from the vote because he works for the church that sold the property to the new church.

The council approved the rezoning of 521 Summons Drive from C-2 to RG (residential garden), recommended by Planning and Zoning. Properties near the land are already zoned RG. No one at the meeting opposed the rezoning.

The council also voted to amend the city’s door-to-door solicitation ordinance. The amendment will add a sentence in the ordinance, dealing with business licenses for solicitors. In addition to the registration fee of $150 per solicitor, all business license fees and other fees and taxes are applicable, including the business license ordinance requiring transient businesses to obtain a business license. The amendment was passed with unanimous consent.

The following merit increases were approved as part of the consent agenda:
1. Zykeisha Randle – Court – Grade 19, Step 3
2. Brian Nabers – Park & Rec – Grade 7, Step 7
3. Stephen Nabors – Fire – Grade 17, Step 3
4. Dalton King – Fire – Grade 17, Step 3
5. Latoya Thomas – Police Dispatch – Grade 16, Step 2
6. Matthew Fredrick – Grade 17, Step 2
I. Approve 5% educational incentive for Jordan Thomas, police
J. Hire Matt Taylor Thigpen – Public Works – Grade 7, Step 2
K. End temporary part-time appointment 7-14-19 & reappoint temporary part-time (6
months), Grade 17, Step 2
1. Micah Black
2. Billy Brodie

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