Liquor license renewal in question for Germantown pub

By LINDA MCALPINE - Daily News

June 17, 2015

Cars begin to fill in the parking lot of Buzdum’s Pub and Grill on Tuesday afternoon in Germantown. The liquor license for Buzdum’s may not be renewed this year due to the $40,000 in property taxes owed since 2011.     
John Ehlke/Daily News

GERMANTOWN - Buzdum’s Pub & Grill in Germantown may — or may not — have its liquor license renewed by the village.

A complaint by the village was filed against Maple Road LLC and Radomir Buzdum, agent and operator of the pub and grill because of $38,633.86 in back taxes.

A vote on whether to approve a liquor license for Buzdum’s will be held at a special meeting of the village board at 8 p.m. June 29.

A little more than a year ago, the village adopted an ordinance that states “no license or permit … shall be granted or issued …. for any premises for which real property taxes in excess of six months … are delinquent or unpaid.”

A copy of a letter sent to Radomir Buzdum by Village Clerk Barbara Goeckner says a liquor license “cannot be issued until the following outstanding debts are paid in full: (These amounts include penalty and interest only through May, 31, 2015) Real Estate taxes for 2011 — $16,235.18; real estate taxes for 2012 — $14,139.75 and real estate taxes for 2013 — $11,753.60.”

“There is an additional outstanding amount that is less than six months for 2014 delinquent real estate taxes of $9,593.63. This amount also includes penalty and interest May 31, 2015,” the letter adds.

The complaint was on the agenda at Monday night’s village board meeting, according to a viewing of the meeting on video on the village’s website.

Buzdum told the board he was in the middle of a “Catch-22.”

The building, which he does not own, is in receivership.

“I have been here five years. I pay $1,800 a month on a lease. I have been paying on time every month,” Buzdum said, adding that he pays the company that is overseeing the receivership, which in turn is supposed to be paying the property taxes.

“I have been trying to contact the company to find out why the taxes haven’t been paid but I get the run around,” Buzdum told the board. “If I don’t pay my lease, I will be out of business and evicted. If the taxes aren’t paid, you’ll deny me a liquor license, so I will be out of business. It’s just a Catch-22.”

Trustee Terri Kaminski reminded Buzdum that the village board members heard a similar story from him about a year ago at license renewal time.

According to a story in the June 17, 2014, Daily News, the vote to grant Buzdum a liquor license at that time was called into question for the same problem — back taxes of more than $50,000.

At the June 16, 2014 village board meeting, Buzdum told the trustees that he had found himself “in a tough situation ... I only lease the building. I’ve got nothing to do with the taxes on it.”

On Monday night, Kaminski told Buzdum that a year ago, she felt sorry for him and voted to approve his liquor license then because he was the lessee and not the owner of the property.

“I don’t feel sorry for you this time,” Kaminski told him Monday night, noting that he had a whole year to work the issue out before applying for his license renewal this year, knowing the taxes are still in arrears.

Trustee Jeff Hughes made a motion to table a vote on Buzdum’s liquor license until June 29, when the board will be holding a special meeting to take care of a late license application submitted by another business in order to consider it before the June 30 deadline. Such licenses are in effect from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

Kaminski told Buzdum that he should be prepared at the June 29 meeting “to show us something significant,” in terms of settling the back taxes on the property.

“I think you can sense the tenor of this board, that it’s not happy,” Kaminski said. “We don’t want to be led on again.”

Buzdum was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Reach reporter Linda McAlpine at