Loganville mayor, council spar over alcohol ordinance fees

LOGANVILLE -- City council members voted Thursday to table for no more than 90 days a decision regarding proposed changes to the Loganville alcohol ordinance.

The work session held earlier this week made it clear, according to councilman Mark Kiddoo, that "we are not ready to move forward" on the matter, as there are still too many questions that council members need to address.

Following that vote, Kiddoo made a motion to table a decision that would set annual fees for businesses and clubs selling beer, wine and alcohol, stating that the move only makes sense after tabling the ordinance.

Councilman Mike Jones disagreed, saying that the two issues were being considered separately, and businesses need to know what fees they are expected to pay as soon as possible.

Councilman Skip Baliles then said the fees are: beer $500, wine $500, liquor $3,500 annually. He made a motion to set the alcohol fee at $500 instead of $3,500, for "bona fide nonprofit private clubs." In Loganville, that category is currently limited to the American Legion, but any such club in the city would qualify for the proposed $500 alcohol fee. Jones said he would like to see the alcohol serving fee for the American Legion be $100.

Mayor Ray Nunley disagreed, saying that the city has bills to pay, too. After several minutes of discussion, the council voted 4-2 to set the beer, wine and alcohol fees at $500 each, with the annual fee for all three categories totaling $1,500 for nonprofit clubs. Council woman Michelle Lynch and Kiddoo cast the dissenting votes.Nunley announces cancer diagnosisAt the end of Thursday's council meeting, Nunley announced that he was diagnosed earlier this week with lung cancer.

"I don't know what the future holds; none of us does, but I will begin testing at Emory tomorrow."$4,800 tap fee to be used as creditCouncilman Dan Curry made a motion Thursday to use the customary $4,800 tap fee the city charges to businesses as a credit for those businesses, in an attempt to make the city more business-friendly. The tap fee is assessed to businesses for "fire flow," or firefighting, on as as-needed and testing basis.

Jones made a point to say that churches as well as businesses should qualify for the credit, referring to an incident several months ago when a local Baptist church asked to have the tap fee waived to accommodate the increased need for shelter and storage for homeless families. Following Thursday's vote, both businesses and churches will qualify for the credit.City awarded CDBG grantCurry also announced Thursday that Loganville has been awarded a $402,000 Community Development Block Grant, which will be used to create another point for the city to receive water from Gwinnett County.

Curry also made a motion to approve the purchase of three new city utility trucks, citing the age of some city vehicles as the reason. The purchase was put out for bid, and the purchase of two 8-cylinder trucks at $16,938 and one 6-cylinder truck for $16,189 was approved. Money saved on the Tom Fuller Boulevard improvement project totaled about $50,000, or approximately the cost of all three trucks, according to Curry.