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City allows beer closer to residences
New Liberty Center plan also accepted
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Two restaurants are the first to take advantage of Hinesville’s recently amended alcohol ordinance that allows sales closer to residences than in the past.
 The city council approved requests Thursday by the owners of the Rolling Crab and Chris’ Curbside Grill for new alcohol licenses that will allow them to sell beer and wine.
The council revised the ordinance earlier this month, also including provisions to allow package alcohol sales on Sunday, following a November 2013 referendum that approved that issue. The effective date of the new ordinance and the new licenses is March 1.
“We will be re-opening as soon as we get the new license,” said Rebecka Smith, manager of the Rolling Crab. “We’ll be ready to re-open next weekend.”
Smith and owner Changjiang Liu came to the council meeting prepared to speak if necessary, but their license and Christopher Hicks’ were approved without comments. Last summer, Liu and Hicks appealed for a waiver to the ordinance’s restrictions on the distance a business had to be from residences.
The amended ordinance restricts the license to businesses at least 25 feet from the property line of residentially-zoned property or 120 feet from a residence on residentially-zoned property. The revised ordinance does, however, restrict the hours of operation.
In other business, the council approved the proposed design of Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Armstrong Liberty Center. The Design Review Board’s recommendation was presented by Gabriele Hartage, Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission planner.
She said the two-story, 24,000-square foot building and grounds will incorporate all the concerns of the Georgia Department of Transportation. Hartage also noted the current enrollment of 300 students is expected to increase to 500 when the new facility is completed. She added there is room on the campus for growth. The new school will be on Memorial Drive, across from a new Liberty County library.
P.C. Simonton engineer Keith Causeway submitted a proposal for ultraviolet disinfection equipment for the Hinesville-Fort Stewart sewage plant. He said the old system has become unreliable. He added the new system could be transferred to a new treatment plant, which is being planned.
“You mentioned studies have been done,” Councilman Keith Jenkins said. “I don’t remember seeing anything about those studies. Would it be possible to see them?”
Mayor Jim Thomas suggested tabling the purchase so the council would have time to look at the studies.
Causeway and City Manager Billy Edwards reminded the council the old UV system has a history of problems and needs to be replaced soon. They also noted the new system will take 12 weeks to deliver. They asked the council to buy the $353,000 equipment and allow P.C. Simonton to submit copies of the studies for review.
Jenkins agreed and the council approved the bid by Trojan Technology. Bids for installation of the equipment are expected to be presented to the council on April 17.
The council also heard an update on the Liberty County Health Department by Angela Gunter, public health outreach and services supervisor.

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