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Happy hour or not? Gainesville City Council decides on Tuesday

POSTED: August 7, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The Gainesville City Council will meet tomorrow and discuss a number of city issues, from whether to allow restaurant owners to have "happy hour" specials to the official name of the road leading to the Frances Meadows Aquatics Center.

Here’s a look at some of the topics:

Parks and recreation

The council will decide the name of the home of the future Gainesville Middle School and the city’s nearly complete aquatics complex, voting on a recommendation from Gainesville Parks and Recreation Director Melvin Cooper that the city name the entryway "Community Way."

Assistant solicitor appointment

The council will vote on a recommendation from Assistant City Manager Bryan Shuler that attorney Kiesha Storey fill the unexpired term of former Assistant Solicitor of Municipal Court Graham McKinnon.

Zoning

The council will hear an appeal of a decision made by the Gainesville Historic Preservation Commission to deny a certificate of appropriateness for the construction of a 55-square-foot sign at 634 Green St.

The council will vote on an annexation request from Janis Roper, who wants to annex a 0.28 acre tract at 107 Hillcrest Road to use for a beauty shop. The Planning and Appeals Board voted to recommend approval of the annexation to the City Council in July.

City code

Along with a number of changes that will bring the city’s alcoholic beverage ordinances up to speed with recent state laws, the City Council will vote on a proposed ordinance from City Marshal Debbie Jones that would allow in-city restaurants to have discounted drink specials from 5-7 p.m.

If approved, restaurant owners who choose to have discounted drink specials will still have to adhere to the city’s 50/50 rule, which requires that food sales comprise at least 50 percent of their revenue.

The ordinance also outlines how restaurant owners can conduct their "happy hours by prohibiting the following: sale of alcoholic beverages at less than half-price, holding "all you can drink" specials, offering free drinks or selling beverages in pitchers or "jumbo" sizes for less than the normal price.

The ordinance also prohibits restaurants from using coupons or holding contests with a primary purpose of increasing the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Two City Council members, George Wangemann and Robert "Bob" Hamrick, have expressed opposition to the ordinance, but others, like Councilman Danny Dunagan, said would be beneficial to business owners.

Real estate

The City Council will vote on a recommendation to rescind an earlier decision to sell 28 acres of property in Industrial Park West to Cowart Mulch Products and transfer the property to the Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Authority. Since the council voted in April to sell the property to Chris Cowart, owner of Cowart Mulch Products, he did not sign the contract to buy the property by the time specified by City Manager Bryan Shuler.

Construction contracts

The council will vote on a recommendation from Director of Human Resources Joan Sheffield to award a contract for the renovation of the city’s A-1 Building for an on-site medical clinic. Sheffield has asked the council to award the construction contract to the lowest bidder, C.S. Miller Construction, for $48,910. The clinic should be complete by mid-September, Sheffield said.

The council will vote on a recommendation from the Public Utilities Department to award the construction of the first and second portions of the Balus Creek Regional Sewerage facilities to Haren Construction Co. ($3.15 million) and Strickland & Sons Pipeline Inc. ($2.19 million). The total cost of the project is $6.1 million, $2 million lower than estimated.

The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. in the Georgia Mountains Center.



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