SNELLVILLE - Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer said during Monday night's City Council meeting that discussions will be re-opened concerning Sunday sales of alcohol in the city.
In 2004, citizens voted by a narrow margin to approve Sunday sales, but the council subsequently reversed that decision.
"To be honest with you, I don't think (Sunday sales) will pass, but it deserves another discussion," said Oberholtzer.
Larry Rutledge a deacon at Snellville First Baptist Church, implored the mayor and council to vote "no" should the matter go to a vote again, saying that 17,000 deaths annually are attributed to alcohol consumption. Rutledge also said Sunday is a sacred day that should not be tainted by selling alcohol.
Councilman Robert Jenkins, who was absent from Monday's meeting due to a family illness, enlisted City Manager Russell Treadway to read a statement on his behalf about Sunday alcohol sales.
"It's not in the best interest of the city," Treadway read.
The issue will be on the Feb. 23 council agenda for consideration and action.
Local art proposed for City Hall
Councilwoman Kelly Kautz, who founded the Snellville Art Alliance, read a resolution asking her colleagues to support using the walls of City Hall to display artwork by local artists and groups for one month at a time per artist or group.
"If you look at city hall, we are a blank canvas here," said Kautz. "This is a positive thing for the city."
Mayor pro tem Barbara Bender asked Kautz whether some of the artists displaying their work might also offer art for sale. Kautz said the purpose was strictly to highlight local talent.
Oberholtzer opposed the measure. Since artists would make arrangements through the city manager, Oberholtzer said it would be a burden to the city.
"I don't like this one bit. It's not free. It's creating a bureaucracy. I don't believe government should be involved in this.
The mayor added, "This is the citizens' building, and I don't believe city hall should be turned into a flea market."
Briscoe Park improvements to begin
Director of Parks and Recreation Cyndee Bonacci informed the council Monday that construction should begin in early March on Phase I of the Briscoe Park improvements.
According to Bonacci, Phase I includes widening Snell Drive, enlarging the cul-de-sac to hold 50 parking spaces and a safer entrance and exit. Phase I also includes adding an updated playground area with ADA compliant structures. The walking path around the lake will be widened, and a fountain and irrigation system will be added in the lake.
Bridges will be updated, and the playground, walkways and picnic tables at Williams Hill will be improved and replaced. Cotter Field will be improved, and fishing platforms will be built in areas around the lake. The wall around the lake will also be improved.
Bonacci said that, if all goes as planned, Phase I construction should be completed in July.