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Car dealers warn city of itinerate sales
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Two longtime Hinesville car dealers brought the issue of temporary site sales before the Hinesville City Council Thursday.
Mike Reed of NeSmith Chevrolet and Fred Mingledorff of Hinesville Ford addressed the negative impacts they say temporary site sales have on permanent businesses that invest in the community. The Hinesville merchants asked city council members to consider prohibiting temporary site sales. Reed suggested if the city attorney finds the practice cannot be prohibited, then the council should consider implementing stronger regulations on such events.
Reed said it isn’t fair for an unknown business to come into the community from elsewhere during “the peak times” of the economy, and take business away from long-standing merchants who have endured the recession and Fort Stewart’s deployment cycles. He said many of these temporary operations are primarily directed at auto sales, but can sell all kinds of merchandise such as jewelry, tools or furniture. Reed said local car dealers frown on temporary site car salesmen who bring in inventory from “outside the county.”
In addition, these operations are often not monitored as are permanent businesses, Mingledorff said.
“People can get taken advantage of,” he said.
“There is a potential for misrepresentation,” Reed said. “A (temporary) purveyor is not going to be there to face the consumer on down the road if there is a problem.”
He added the presence of temporary site sales could also dissuade new businesses from locating in Hinesville. “If someone comes into Hinesville and opens a Subway restaurant they don’t want to see a hot dog stand open up across the street,” Reed said by way of example.
The two car dealers also presented the council copies of the state code “as it pertains to new and pre-owned automobile dealers in the state of Georgia.”
Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas told Reed and Mingledorff the city attorney would examine the issue and bring it back to the council for discussion.
In other city business:
• Ray Carter owner of Carter Ink Tattoos and Piercings in Richmond Hill asked the council to schedule a hearing to amend the city’s zoning restriction on tattoo studios. Carter wants to open a studio in Hinesville, and his prospective location does not meet the current code.
Under city code tattoo studios cannot be located within one mile of a church, school or business that sells alcohol. Tattoo studios also cannot be within 300 feet from residential property, according to the zoning restriction. “Tattooing has come into the mainstream,” Carter told the council. He said his clientele includes soccer moms, pastors, students and soldiers.
• The council, per Hinesville City Manager Billy Edward’s recommendation, will wait until next month to award a contract on the public works construction project. The base bid for the project was $3,377,000, Edward said, adding the city has $3,414,011 set aside to pay for it.
The problem, he said, is the current estimated cost for the project, $3,709,620, is higher than the available funds creating a shortfall of $295,609. Edwards said he and city staff will meet with project engineers and architects and work to bring the cost of the project down.
• Edwards told the council a budget hearing will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28 in the municipal courtroom. The public is invited to offer input at the meeting, Edwards said.
• The city will present its official zoning map for adoption at the next regular council meeting, to be at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4 in the municipal courtroom. The map is updated annually to reflect zoning changes.
• A special called meeting to consider adoption of a resolution authorizing the use of eminent domain will be at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4 in the municipal courtroom.
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