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Downtown Development Authority gets check from mixed-drink tax funds

LAWRENCEVILLE - Every time a mixed drink is sold in Lawrenceville, the city's Downtown Development Authority will receive 3 percent of the retail price to promote downtown businesses.

The Lawrenceville City Council recently designated the DDA as the recipient of proceeds from the mixed-drink tax implemented in the city in fall 2007.

On behalf of the council, Mayor Rex Millsaps presented DDA Chairman Mike Reedy with a check for $48,756.97 at the DDA's January meeting on Monday. This check represents mixed-drink tax funds collected from October 2007 through December 2008, Millsaps said.

The DDA, which has not had a steady revenue stream in the past, will receive proceeds from the mixed-drink tax on a quarterly basis. These funds are being generated by about a dozen establishments in the city that sell mixed drinks.

"We wanted the DDA to have some funds for projects in the downtown area," Millsaps said.

Reedy said the DDA plans "to plow the tax funds back into downtown." Initially, he said, "we want to help our merchants by co-sponsoring events to bring in more people to shop and dine downtown."

Some of the funds, Reedy said, may be used to fund a study on directional signage downtown.

In the future, the DDA also may offer matching grants to downtown businesses to make façade improvements, he said.