Board OKs liquor license for Derby Inn

Local News

Faribault County commissioners didn’t consider the “good character and repute” qualification of who owns the Derby Inn in Guckeen when they unanimously approved an “on-sale” liquor license for the business during their meeting on Tuesday.

Instead, the five-member board relied on a favorable recommendation made by County Attorney Cameron Davis and Sheriff Mike Gormley following a background check of Savanna Moler.

Under state law Moler is eligible to get a license, says Davis, because she has not been convicted of a felony, has not had any prior liquor license violations and meets all other qualifications.

Moler told board members she is the lone applicant for the license and sole owner of the business that was established as a limited liability company.

Commissioner Tom Loveall says it’s his understanding the board could deny the license on whether the owner of the Derby Inn building meets qualifications.

I support this at this point, knowing the facts as we’ve seen it and discussed,” says Loveall. “We can do policy beyond state law, but we have to be consistent and clear. This passes the legality of the day.”

Davis says board members have “broad discretion” on whether an applicant qualifies for a license.

The power to grant the license rests solely with the board,” he says. “Whatever decision the board makes, I would urge the board to use a framework that you could apply in the future. The board cannot act arbitrary or capricious.”

Commissioner Greg Young wanted to know if three other parcels of property purchased by the Derby Inn owner and near the bar would be covered by the license.

Moler says her insurance only covers alcohol consumption inside the bar and the parking lot, not an area used for volleyball games in the past. She says alcohol may not be taken off the premises.

I just want to follow the rules and not get in trouble,” she says. “I’m not comfortable with an off-sale (license) at this point.”

Moler says she does have an interest in buying property and Derby Inn building from the owner in the future.

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