Three additional businesses cited for violating health order

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COLUMBIA - Three more businesses have been issued notices of violation for going against recent health orders. 

This brings the total number of businesses in violation of the city's health order to six.

The new businesses in violation are Plaza Tire on Fairview Road, Maxwell Family Chiropractic, and Elite Barber Shop. All three businesses refused to comment on the situation.

Last week, KOMU 8 News reported that the city handed out violations to Willie's Pub & Pool, Country Club of Missouri and Truman's Bar and Grill.

The Country Club of Missouri and Willie's Pub & Pool refused to comment.

Truman's Bar and Grill sent KOMU 8 News an official statement reading, "We are pleased that with the guidance and assistance from the Columbia Boone County Health Department we are in complete compliance with all ordinances."

Neighborhood services manager Leigh Kottwitz said the Office of Neighborhood Services plans to hand out two more notices of violation in the coming days, though she refused to say which two businesses they were.

Assistant director of the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Scott Clardy and Kottwitz said the six businesses aren't alone as they have received a handful of complaints.

“Neighborhood Services has received 150 complaints," Kottwitz said. "There have been additional complaints that have been sent to the health department staff, so I’m not sure of the total number, but our staff has received 150. Several of those are duplicates. We’ve received complaints on 91 individual businesses or addresses, most of the complaints are businesses."

Kottwitz confirmed that the Office of Neighborhood Services has received about 150 complaints, but that only 91 of them have been businesses.

The Office of Neighborhood Services has been helping the health department handle complaints with businesses that the health department doesn't normally regulate. Clardy said it handles businesses like grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and swimming pools. He says the Office of Neighborhood Services would deal with more retail-like businesses that don't involve food and beverage.

Clardy said the Office of Neighborhood Services sort through the complaints and determines whether the health department or the Office of Neighborhood Services follows up with the complaints.

Both Clardy and Kottwitz said their offices try to work with businesses that have received complaints before taking any further steps like handing out a notice of violation.

“Our first actions that we take when we find a place that isn’t in compliance is to first talk to them about what is expected," Clardy said. “You can tell someone who is making a good-faith effort to try and do the right thing and those who aren’t.”

Out of 91 businesses or addresses that have received complaints, Clardy said there's a reason why only six have been given out notices of violation.

“The large majority of the facilities that we get complaints on come into compliance very, very quickly," he said. “Then there’s other — like Willie’s was in violation of the health order. We considered that just egregious. We saw pictures of people clearly clustered together shoulder-to-shoulder. There were not attempts to do any social distancing or anything like that. So, we along with the prosecutor felt like that was egregious enough that we just needed to go ahead and issue a (notice) at that point, and it’s the same thing with the Country Club of Missouri."

Clardy says the city prosecutor already filed charges on two of the businesses that were given notices of violation. These two are Willie's Pub & Pool and the Country Club of Missouri. Both face hearings Aug. 26, according to municipal court documents.

To view a full list of businesses found in violation and the actual notices of violation, visit the city's website.

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