By Linton Johnson
The Elberton City Council voted Monday to impose the minimum penalty against four local businesses recently cited for violating the city’s alcoholic beverage ordinance.
JJ&B Foodmart No. 1 LLC; JP Elberton; V&M Lounge, Barbershop & More; and Circle K Stores Inc. will each pay a total of $550 in fines and face no license suspension after their employees were charged with selling alcoholic beverages to underage customers.
Representatives of each store appeared before council in a public hearing. All four violations were first offenses within a five-year period, and Elberton Mayor Larry Guest urged each business representative to take advantage of the city’s employee training program on compliance with local alcohol sales ordinances.
In other business, City Manager Lanier Dunn reported a positive financial report for October, with an overall net income of $310,363 for the month. Dunn reported a shortfall of $31,069 for the natural gas department, which he attributed to a lack of demand due to recent mild temperatures.
“Hopefully it will get frigid here soon, so we can meet our budgetary goals,” Dunn said.
Dunn also reported on the progress of determining the feasibility of constructing four residential apartments on the second floor of the city-owned W.O. Jones Building on North McIntosh Street. He said some demolition will be necessary within the structure due to the presence of asbestos, and that will not take place until the new year. If deemed feasible, the city will offer two one-bedroom and two two-bedroom spaces for rent.
In action items, the council approved the issuance of alcoholic beverage licenses for 2018, the closing of streets for the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce’s Twilight Stroll on January 5 and the mayor’s appointment of Kirby Tyler to a new three-year term on the Elbert County Library Board.
The council went into closed session for nearly an hour to discuss a personnel matter but took no action upon returning to open session.