Owner of Hannibal bowling alley says he’s received threats after recent closing; Arby’s gets a reprieve

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James Baum, who purchased Ten Pin Bowling Alley in January, told Hannibal City Council he is receiving threats online and in person since the bowling alley was closed earlier this month. Photo by Megan Duncan

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Hannibal’s bowling alley may soon open again after Hannibal City Council closed it on March 5 due to an expired business license.

James Baum, who took over Hannibal’s Ten Pin Alley and renamed it Baum Family Center in January, appeared before the Hannibal City Council on Tuesday night.

Baum told the council since the bowling alley was closed, he has received threats to him and his family both online and in person.

Baum said he was unable to purchase his business license from the City of Hannibal due to a faulty sprinkler system, which was is now being repaired. According to Baum, the sprinkler system was not working when he purchased the building.

Baum asked the council why the previous owner was able to continue renewing his business license with a broken sprinkler system.

Hannibal City Clerk Melissa Cogdal explained that inspections only happen when a business owner fails to renew their license. Cogdal said the best advice she can give is that he makes sure to keep his license current.

“Once that business is closed down, we are going to come and inspect your business, you’re going to start the process completely over,” Cogdal said.

Baum informed council members that the bowling will open again soon.

”I want everyone in the community know that it is being worked on, and we have an agenda to get it done within a week or two weeks,” he said. “I want the community to be behind the bowling alley.”

Hannibal Arby’s will also live to see another day after the owners were granted a second two-week week extension.

In a special hearing held before the regular Hannibal City Council meeting Tuesday night, the council granted a second two-week extension for the restaurant to renew their business license.

Hannibal City Clerk Melissa Cogdal explained to the council that Hannibal Arby’s representatives have produced records showing they paid Missouri taxes but they are waiting on the state to update their status as paid.

Two food trucks, Cuzo’s, a festival food truck that offered smoked meat recipes, and Yo-ke’s Ice Cream truck were closed.

Hannibal City Council heard the first reading of a bill, if approved, will require UTV drivers who drive on city streets to maintain insurance.

Councilman Michael Dobson said a local insurance agent reported to him that the State of Missouri does not currently require insurance on UTVs because they are mostly intended for farm use, but the council approved for them to be driven on most city streets in July 2021. 

The vehicles are not allowed on highways and must be inspected by a mechanic licensed in Missouri and operating in the Hannibal city limits. They must have lights, turn signals and slow moving vehicle flags with triangle signs.

If approved, the bill will require UTV drivers to maintain general liability insurance in the minimum amount of $400,000.

A permit will not be issued or renewed for UTV owners to drive inside of Hannibal city limits without proof of insurance provided at the time of application.

Council member Darrell McCoy said he has received comments from constituents who do not want the council to dictate what type of insurance they have.

McCoy mentioned that the city does not have specific insurance requirements for motorcycles. Dobson pointed out that the state of Missouri does have requirement for motorcycles, but not for UTVs.

McCoy said as previously serving as the Marion County Coroner, he understand the vehicles can be dangerous, but that there haven’t been specific issues in the city.

“The last time we spoke about it, I don’t believe there’s been any citations issued or incidents in the city limits of Hannibal regarding UTVs ,” McCoy said.

Hannibal Police Chief Jacob Nacke, who was sitting in the back of the room, said he was not aware of any citations.

”If Chief Nacke would have said there were a lot of incidents or we’ve had issues with these to prove they are unsafe and they require insurance limits, I would maybe vote different but there’s just no before to the taxpayer. There’s no benefit to the city,” McCoy said.

Council member Stephan Franke said the insurance requirement would be in preparation of any issues.

”There are no accidents yet but as a Bible reader, I know the best time to build the ark is before the flood,” Franke said.

The council approved the first reading of the insurance bill seven against one, with McCoy voting no. The final reading will take place at the next meeting on April 2.

Hannibal City Council discussed the self-set deadline for the old St. Elizabeth’s hospital. The council voted on Dec. 23 to that if a developer with secured financing is not secured by July 1, they will have plans ready to tear the building down.

Hannibal Mayor Barry Louderman asked the council to begin discussions to tear the building down. Louderman said the estimated cost to tear the building down was about $4 million or $5 million.

Louderman believes the cost to develop the property would be between $20 million to $25 million.

“I honestly believe we are not going to find someone to come forward and develop that property,” Louderman said. “I believe if someone came to us today and said ‘Hey I want to see the money for development.’ There is no waiting on historic tax credits.”

McCoy urged the council to have a special public meeting on the issue, stating he was uncomfortable with spending $5 million in taxpayer dollars without consulting the public.

Louderman along with all council members agreed with McCoy’s suggestion to hold a public meeting. The date of the meeting is pending arrangements.

Street Closure Requests:

  • Hannibal Early Bird Kiwanis requested to close Hill Street to Ymens Pavilion for a pork chop event on Friday May 10, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to May 12, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Mark Twain Home Foundation requested street closures for Music Under the Stars from Hill to Main for each Thursday evening in June through August from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m..

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