Alcohol Ordinance Violation Resolved; City Council Talks Annexation, De-annexation

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BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – The Blairsville City Council convened on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, for their monthly meeting, one day early this month in anticipation of the Nov. 7 local election. Mayor Jim Conley and all council members were present as were City Attorney David Barrett and City Clerk Kaye McCann.

The Georgia ATF Agency, during the latter part of October 2017, sent an underage person into The Wine Shoppe in Blairsville to buy alcohol. The clerk made the sale to the minor in violation of Georgia State Law and the Blairsville Alcohol Ordinance. The Wine Shoppe was closed down, and local and state licenses to operate the business were confiscated. William McGlamery, owner and license holder of The Wine Shoppe, addressed Mayor Conley and the Council following a statement by Blairsville Police Lieutenant Rusty Walker that all restitution had been made in connection with the Alcohol Ordinance violation. McGlamery expressed deep regret and took full responsibility as the owner of the establishment for the violation, even though he was not present at The Wine Shoppe when the violation occurred. McGlamery was fined $150 (first time violation), his licenses were returned and The Wine Shoppe was allowed to reopen the following day. (See video for McGlamery’s full statement.)

Paul Thompson and Bo Conley requested that an approximate 13-acre tract of land adjacent to the Butternut Golf Course on the south side of Pat Haralson Road near the Sawmill Restaurant be annexed into the city of Blairsville. Thompson and Conley never stated why they were making this request, but speculation is that they want access to Blairsville Water and Sewer services. City Attorney Barrett informed Thompson and Conley that they would need to make their request in writing and to include plat maps with their request. (See video  for discussion.)

City Attorney David Barrett (L), Mayor Jim Conley (R)

A motion was made by Councilman Buddy Moore, seconded by Councilwoman Rhonda Mahan with Moore, Mahan and Councilwoman Betty Easter voting yea and Councilman Tony Dyer voting nay to approve a resolution urging the Georgia General Assembly to oppose De-annexation Legislation to Create New Municipalities. Developers of Eagles Landing want to de-annex a large part of the city of Stockbridge, Georgia, (Henry County) for their development. Neither the governing body  nor the voters of the existing municipality, Stockbridge, Georgia, have consented to this legislation. This resolution supports the governing body and voters of Stockbridge and opposes forced de-annexation of Stockbridge or any other municipality in the state of Georgia. (See video for discussion.)

The Blairsville Airport will be getting a new 5 MP security camera surveillance system. Mahan stated that she had observed both the 3 MP (megapixel) and the 5 MP systems and the 5 MP system had significantly better resolution. Kristian Burks, installer of the system, said the 5 MP system comes with 4 terabytes of memory, which would cover about two months. The cost of the system is $8,195. Motion to approve was unanimous. (See video for discussion.)

The Blairsville Airport will also be getting a new 12,000 gallon Jet-A fuel tank. Airport Manager John Hamler described an elevated need for another Jet-A fuel tank, citing increased jet traffic which is driving higher fuel sales sufficient to warrant the tank’s purchase and installation. Motion was made by Easter, seconded by Mahan, to accept a bid from Charles Nobles in the amount of $151,000 for the tank and a proposal from Laney Construction in the amount of $7,600 to construct a concrete pad for the tank to rest on. The motion was unanimously approved. (See video for discussion.)

W. C. Nelson, co-owner of a building (rental property) in downtown Blairsville at 126 Blue Ridge Street, requested that the Council grandfather the building in prior to the September 1988 Water Sewer Ordinance requiring each unit of a building to have separate meters. Nelson said the building was built prior to the passage of the ordinance. He said the sale of the building hinges on this because of the cost to comply. Motion was made by Dyer, seconded by Mahan and Easter with Moore voting nay to approve Nelson’s request. (See video for discussion.)

Conley opened a public hearing for the First Reading of Alcohol Ordinance 2017-04 to amend Ordinance 2017-03. Mitch Griggs asked what the changes were and Conley read the proposed changes to the ordinance. There were no other public comments. Conley then declared the First Reading done and closed the hearing. When queried for questions from the Council, Dyer asked for clarification of the Special Event License change. Copies of the proposed Ordinance may be requested from Blairsville City Hall.

Motion to approve a new sign for the Old Blairsville Cemetery in the amount of $2,700 was unanimously approved.

Motion to approve the hiring of part-time airport employee Justin Alexander at the rate of $12 per hour was unanimously approved.

The 2018 Occupational Tax Certificate Renewals were unanimously approved as a whole.

Truck Ordinance is still a work in progress.

Department Head Reports were as follows:
• Police Chief Johnny Carroll distributed the October Blairsville PD report and commented that there was an increase in fender-bender type accidents, mainly in parking lots.
• Waste Water Treatment Plant Manager Jody Cook reported that the North Georgia (NGTC) Lift Station repairs are completed and the SBR pump is operational.
• Downtown Development Authority Manager Darren Harper distributed the DDA report and reported that the Fall Festival on the Square was a big success. No activities are planned for November, he said, but December is right around the corner.
• Airport Manager John Hamler reported significantly increased Jet-A fuel sales along with a significant increase in jet traffic. He said the new terminal building is working out well. Hamler then introduced Storman Glass, the new Assistant Airport Manager who took Chris Dyer’s place.

The following Sign Permit Applications were unanimously approved:
• South State Bank, 458 Hwy. 515 East, Josh Intoppa/Signart, Applicant
• Seasons Inn Motel & Plaza, 94 Town Square, Unit N, Chris and Colleen Urbaniuk
• Hayes Appliance, 94L Town Square, Michael Hayes, Owner
• Made with Love Marketplace, 94L Town Square, Angela Hayes, Owner

The following Occupational Tax Certificate and Sign Permit Applications were approved:
• Paci’s Brooklyn Pizza, 417H Blue Ridge Street, Salvatore Paci, Owner
• Dovetail Historic Restorations LLC/Dovetail Roofing, 160 Rogers Street, Scott Glosson, Owner

 

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