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The Local Agenda: Gainesville council to weigh allowing growlers
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Gainesville City Council will hear a proposed amendment to the alcoholic beverage ordinance when it meets today for a regularly scheduled session. 

The amendment is designed to allow Growlers on Main, which serves draft beer to go in Flowery Branch, to open a new location in Gainesville. 

The amendment would set the definition for a growler — a sealed glass jug of draft beer ready-made to take home for consumption — and provide the parameters for serving samples of tap beers at the location. 

Growlers on Main opened in South Hall in January to great fanfare, and Gainesville officials reached out to owner Alan Davenport about opening a new branch on the downtown square. 

Davenport said he is excited about the opportunity to move into the square, which he anticipates could happen as soon as late spring or early summer. He is looking at specific locations. 

While Davenport appears to have the support of city officials, Councilman George Wangemann has said he will vote against the amendment because he fears it could be a slippery slope to allowing “open bars” to operate in the city. 

Gainesville currently requires any business serving alcohol for consumption on premises to make at least 50 percent of its revenue from food sales. 

The Gainesville City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. today at the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway, Gainesville. 

2 local bills face deadline in General Assembly

Local representatives are pushing to have two bills that impact Gainesville and Hall County passed before time runs out in the Georgia General Assembly. 

Thursday marks the final day of this year’s session.

The first is a proposal to create the Gainesville Convention and Visitors Bureau Authority, which would replace the current tourism and trade office as the city’s official marketing arm for conventions and tourism. 

The bill passed the House on March 11 after being stripped of language that would have given the new CVB powers to issue bonds, purchase property and hire personnel. The Senate read and referred it to committee the next day. 

The second bill is a proposal to create the Board of Elections and Registration of Hall County, which would replace the current advisory board, and would move supervision of the chief registrar from the Hall County Superior Court and into the hands of the county administrator. 

The bill also passed the House on March 11, and the Senate read and referred it to committee the next day. 

Meanwhile, a proposal to create a new Civil Service System Act to replace the existing one has been scrapped — at least for now. 

Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, said time ran short on introducing the legislation and getting it through the necessary committees for a vote this year. It may come up again next year, he said.

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:


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