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Story Archives: Vidalia discusses licenses
|Vidalia discusses licenses|
The first meeting of the Vidalia Town Council at the city's new municipal complex was dominated by discussion of two occupational licenses — one for a pool hall and the other for a tattoo parlor.
Jessie Banks, Jr., who has appeared before the council before, is seeking a license to operate a pool hall at 902 Carter Street in the former Intensive Home Health building. He also plans to sell alcoholic beverages at the establishment.
At a previous meeting, a motion made by Alderman Tron McCoy failed due to a lack of second from the board.
The vote Tuesday night was split with Alderman Ricky Knapp and Maureen Saunders voting against and Vernon Stevens and McCoy voting for the approval. Alderman Jon Betts was not present.
Mayor Hyram Copeland was called upon to break the tie.
Copeland voted against naming several reasons — location, the type of business, the proximity to a church and the concern he has received from constitutents.
The vote was held after a lengthy discussion and an open comment period with Banks answering questions and attendees speaking on his behalf stating that he is a "young entrepreneur and his intention was good." Questions were also raised about the licensing process from the local to the state level.
Banks said that he has done everything he can thus far stating he did not wish to sink any more money into the endeavor if it ultimately was not going to be approved by the city.
McCoy urged the board to "not be the holdup."
"The only way he can progress hinges on an occupational license," said McCoy. "Legally we can't say no if he's met the minimum requirements."
Stevens weighed in saying there was no grounds to deny other than personal dislike of the business.
"I don't think we have the right not to give him a permit," said Stevens.
Before the vote was made, Copeland said that he wanted to cut to the chase.
"I don't want to see you spend a lot of money," said Copeland saying that he would ultimately have to appear before the board for an alcohol permit.
McCoy stated his disappointment in the vote citing Copeland's accomplishments and spirit in pursuing ventures for the city.
"The young man is interested in becoming a business owner - he has an entreprenual spirit . To turn this young man away without having a viable reason is the worst thing we've done.
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