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POA attorney Doug McCash updates the information for several nonprofits each year, just in case the association needs them, he explained recently. It's all about liquor licensing, he said.

The nonprofits are named for random people who might have been POA members at one time, he said. But McCash wasn't involved in naming them, he just keeps them up to date.

Before Benton County was a wet county, restaurants that served alcohol had to be private clubs with nonprofit status. In those days, the POA leased most of its restaurant space and when a new business moved in, it could take months to obtain a liquor license. The POA could speed up the process by letting the new business use one of the nonprofit corporations that had already been established.

The licensing process changed when Benton County became a wet county, and the POA has regular liquor licenses for the restaurants it runs, he said, but there are still places where a private club permit is necessary. To qualify for a regular license, the establishment must serve food, so Riordan Hall would not qualify. Instead, Riordan Hall still has a private club license so it can legally serve alcohol at some special events.

McCash said Tommy Lee, the POA's director of business development, is usually the individual who deals with the complexities of liquor licenses. The POA has developed a good relationship with the enforcement officer from the Alcohol Beverage Control board who can answer questions about the licensing.

It doesn't cost anything to maintain the small nonprofits, McCash said. They have no budget because there's no money that goes in or out. Each year, McCash updates the "board" of the small nonprofits with current members of the POA administration or board, he said.

The nonprofits were the subject of a recent Facebook post. McCash said he doesn't follow any of the Bella Vista Facebook pages, although people occasionally update him on their contents. There's just not enough time, he said, to read and respond to everything on Facebook.

When the POA chooses to respond, it's not on the Facebook page that raises the issue. Sometimes, a POA staff person will post on the POA's own Facebook page in response to something that's just not factual, he said.

There are also times when the POA will respond by adding a FAQ on its web page to clarify an issue. If a staff member or a board member ever feels threatened by Facebook posts, he or she can go to the police, who will often call the author of the post.

General News on 01/08/2020

Print Headline: Nonprofits used to license private clubs

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