City amends alcohol beverage ordinance yet again

Published 12:19 pm Saturday, September 23, 2017

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — The Americus City Council decided, in a 4-2 vote, Thursday to again amend the alcohol beverage license, this time removing requirements for fingerprinting and background checks for anyone selling or serving alcohol.

This latest amendment, one of many since they adopted the new ordinance in April, has been a topic of lengthy discussion for months. City manager, Steve Kennedy, again told the mayor and council Thursday that he did not recommend the amendment and it would set a precedent for the future. The amendment removes requirements that will allow anyone get a license in Americus, regardless of criminal history or documentation.

Juanita Wilson made the motion which was seconded by Daryl Dowdell. Those two, plus Nelson Brown and Shirley Green Reese, voted yes while Lou Chase and Carla Cook voted no. (See editorial opinion on page A4 Friday.

Other actions taken by the council Thursday included the following.

  • Approved amendment to the city’s Defined Benefit Retirement Plan that will allow any retired city employee who returns to duty to draw their retirement plus full pay. Wilson made the motion which was seconded by Dowdell. Those two, plus Brown and Green Reese, voted yes while Chase and Cook voted no.
  • Unanimously approved an alcohol license for Lilaben Jayantibhait Patel for JP Express Mart, 129 Ga. Highway 27 East.
  • Unanimously approved a bid of $30,624 from Allan Vigil for the purchase of a new SUV for the Americus Police Department’s new K-9 program.
  • Unanimously approved the millage rate ordinance which keeps the millage rate at 10.32, which has been unchanged for the past four years.
  • Unanimously approved ratifying the mayor’s signing of a declaration of local emergency due to Hurricane Urma signed in Sept. 8.
  • Unanimously approved an amended mutual aid agreement with Sumter County Fire & Rescue.
  • Unanimously approved the reappointment of Russell Thomas Jr. to a four-year term on the Downtown Development Authority.

The mayor and council also heard from Willie Golphin, who gave an update on the Boys & Girls Club, of which he is the new board president; Anne Isbell, director, who gave an update on the Lake Blackshear Regional Library System; and Jacob Battle who wants the city to name Muckalee Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to honor the late Millard Fuller.

Josh Roth, who recently resigned as director of planning and inspections, was recognized for his service to the city with a proclamation. Also, honorary council member Carlton Glenn Maye was recognized with a proclamation.