City to lower alcohol license fees 10 percent

Published 8:15 am Monday, June 19, 2017

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — The Americus mayor and city council held their agenda-setting meeting Thursday.
Several items were placed on the consent agenda to be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 22.
• Approve a list of surplus equipment to be placed on govdeals.
• Approve an intergovernmental agreement for elections with the Sumter County Board of Elections.
• Approve an Employee Assistance Program contract with Corpcare Associates Inc. of Atlanta.
• Approve the sale of a surplus 1999 pumper unit to Webster County Fire Services for $7,000.
• Approve signing off with the state Department of Community Affairs supporting an extension of the deadline for finalizing the Service Development Strategy.
• Approve suspending the rules and approving an amendment to the city ordinance allowing for the package sale of all alcoholic beverages on Sundays.
City manager, Steve Kennedy updated the mayor and council on several matters.
• He asked that each council member turn in a list of paving projects from their respective districts to him no later than June 30 so they can be prioritized for execution after the current paving list is completed.
• He asked that the council move ahead with appointing citizens to serve on the Alcohol License Review Board.
• He asked mayor and council to review the entertainment zone overlay map before scheduling public meetings.
• He requested a closed session for “a legal update.”
Council member, Nelson Brown asked Kennedy about trash and debris pickup in the West Lester Street area. Kennedy said after discussions with Advance Disposal, it has been determined that if yard debris is on the street to be picked up, that it will be picked up (with few exceptions), and that the city’s Public Works director has his people picking up furniture, etc. on the street “in an aggressive way.”

Items to be voted on at Thursday’s meeting include the first reading of an ordinance amendment setting the fee schedule to reflect changes in the fees associated with alcohol license fees. The changes represent about a 10 percent reduction in the current fees. These changes would be effective with renewals for 2018, and any new applications submitted after July 1, 2017. Kennedy asks that the rules be suspended and it be voted on Thursday.
Two other items to be voted on include special lighting projects in the downtown area. Patrick Kay, Main Street and Downtown Development director, briefed the mayor and council on the necessity of the city obtaining easements on properties along West Forsyth Street which front Windsor Alley. The string lighting, which Kay called like “French bistro-style hanging lights,” are part of the Renaissance Strategic Visioning Plan for downtown. The other item is similar lighting of Baldwin Park, downtown. The total cost will be “about $3,400” for both and Kay said that Wayne’s Electric is donating its services for the installation.
The other item asks for the city to obtain easements of a small portion of property located at the viaduct near the Shell station for cleanup and maintenance and placement of flags on the existing flagpole. Kay said the property owner is amenable to the plan.
Near the end of the meeting Kay addressed Nelson Brown about checking into the possibility of having Georgia Southwestern State University or South Georgia Technical College students come up with drawings for possible improvements at Brookdale Park. The mayor and council had previously discussed closing that park because of unsavory activities there after dark. Mayor Barry Blount told Brown that such a directive, seeking student input, should come from the city manager, not from individual council members.
The council voted to go into closed session to discuss appointments.