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Council approves ‘Brunch Bill’ for earlier Sunday sales

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Council approves ‘Brunch Bill’ for earlier Sunday sales

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CITY OF GRAY

Gray council members voted unanimously at a called meeting recently to place the legislation known as the Brunch Bill on the city election ballot in November.

The July 16 specially called council meeting was brought to order by Mayor Ed Barbee. The only item on the agenda was a resolution calling for a Municipal Special Election Nov. 6 to permit and regulate Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages, by the drink, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the City of Gray.

That referendum was passed by the General Assembly as Senate Bill 17 but requires authorization by each city or county. That authorization means the question would be placed on the ballot to be approved by voters.

The approval is exclusively for alcohol consumption in restaurants and would not affect sales in grocery or convenience stores. It is up to each city to decide the date when the earlier hours for alcohol sales would begin.

Barbee said the referendum would be at no cost to the city because it would be added to the ballot for the Nov. 6 election of Gray’s mayor pro tem to replace Kema Clark, who resigned earlier this year.

The resolution was approved unanimously, and the called meeting was adjourned.

Committees

The city’s meeting of all committees was immediately called to order, and Councilman Terrell Fulford, who serves as Finance Committee Chairman, said only $13,000 in 2017 property taxes remained unpaid. He announced it was time for department heads to begin their budgets in order for the city’s millage rate to be adopted in October.

Fulford said a finance committee meeting was scheduled Aug. 2 at 10 a.m., which would include an audit review.

City Superintendent Michael Lloyd said the demolition of the old Masonic lodge on Washington Street and four trees on the property were completed at a cost of $7,600. Fulford said the funds for the demolition would come from the Capital Improvement Fund.

City Clerk Cindy Yancey said the funds in the city’s cemetery account were low, and Fulford said money would be withdrawn from the cemetery’s CD for the property’s perpetual care. The CD is currently valued at $93,500.

Councilman David Tufts said a Water and Sewer Committee meeting with engineers Carter and Sloope was scheduled for 11 a.m. Aug. 2.

Lloyd reported that the chemical drip to take care of the phosphorus level at the wastewater treatment plant had been put in and was operating. He also said the Glover Lane bid opening would take place July 26 at 11 a.m.

Tufts said he was part of a group working on the future use of the Maggie Califf Complex, and the group is attempting a feasibility study. He said, to date ,they have had no luck finding who could do that. His question to the council was for their approval to approach the Middle Georgia Regional Commission to find out if they could help.

“We need a professional opinion,” Tufts said.

Council members in attendance agreed they had no objection.

Lloyd said it was time to submit the list for the 2019 Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) program. The city’s amount from the grant is $47,202.61, and the city’s match is 30 percent.

He asked council members for suggestions of roads needing repair. The list must be submitted by Jan. 1, 2019.

The superintendent also asked approval to trade in two lawn mowers toward the purchase of new ones. He also asked to sell two older mowers as surplus and an underground auger that is not used.

Under public safety, Gray’s interim Fire Chief Keith Eisele said the city’s ladder truck was being repaired and had to be inspected before it can be put back in service.

Tufts, who serves as chairman of the Street Committee, brought up the appearance of the parking lot at Dollar General.

Yancey said the store is corporately owned. Barbee said he had spoken to the store manager, and he said the parking lot was supposed to be redone.

Tufts said he hoped that was going to happen.

“Right now, it’s an eyesore, especially because the businesses around it are kept looking so good,” he said.