An alcohol sales extension into Sunday, a multi-million dollar reconstruction effort and an adult entertainment ordinance are a collection of issues currently resting on the minds of Hinesville officials.
During his report at this week’s council meeting, Councilman Jack Shuman presented a motion to draw up a draft resolution for an alcohol sales referendum. No time was set for when it would go to voters.
Shumans’ motion was seconded, and the draft resolution was voted on and approved.
In the upcoming weeks, the council will vote on the potentially controversial referendum to either allow or deny the sales of alcohol in restaurants on Sundays.
This referendum resembles the one passed by the Flemington City Council last year, and if it passes, it would boost the city’s sales tax revenue, Shuman noted.
Councilman Steve Troha, who voted against the draft resolution, asked the council to consider whether or not Sunday sales would be beneficial to the city.
“Does it honor God, and does it attract the caliber of people we want in our city?” he asked.
In response to Troha’s remarks, Councilman Charles Frasier and Shuman said the collective opinion of their constituents will help guide their vote of accepting or rejecting the referendum.
In other city news
The council went ahead and signed on James Buckley and Associates to design the City Hall expansion project, which will loosely range from $6-8 million City Manager Billy Edwards said.
Buckley, Lott-Barber Architects and JKH architects all bid for the contract to design the work, yet Edwards said Buckley appeared to be the most economically feasible choice, and the councilmen agreed.
“As the city has grown, the number of employees necessary to deliver the services needed by our community has also grown and we have reached the point where additional space is needed,” Mayor Tom Ratcliffe said. “The renovation and expansion of our existing city hall is consistent with the continuing investment by both public and private entities in the redevelopment of our downtown area which is critical to our economic future as a city.”
Buckley will begin drawing up specific plans for the project, and Edwards said Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds will cover a portion of Buckley’s costs.
Four months ago, the council decided to place a moratorium on the issuance of licenses to adult entertainment establishments to decide whether these establishments can act as a detriment to the surrounding community, Edwards said.
The council decided to prolong the moratorium for another month, and in October they will vote on an ordinance, which could set limitations on where an adult entertainment business could be built, Edwards said.
If the ordinance passes, the future locale of these entertainment businesses would not be able to lay within 1,000 feet of residences, schools, churches, other alcohol establishments and other incompatible commercial activities, Edwards added.
“Crime increases have been associated with adult entertainment locations,” Hinesville Police Department Chief George Stagmeier said. “Typically, there is an increase in drug activity, property damage and assaults, which can occur within the vicinity of one of these establishments.”