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Posted: July 28, 2012 5:45 p.m.

City revokes liquor license from restaurant

Porterdale council members decided to revoke three liquor licenses from Porterdale Bar and Grill for its failure to file distilled spirits excise tax returns in the amount of $1,650 and its failure to pay more than $500 in excise taxes.

The council voted 4-0 on the measure at a called city council meeting Thursday night after listening to an alcohol license hearing for Lindsay Crawford, the owner, CEO and CFO of Porterdale Bar and Grill. Councilman Tim Savage was not present during the meeting.

The restaurant will not be able to sell liquor, beer or wine, unless its licenses are restored.

Robert Piccarreto represented the city during the hearing. He questioned Acting City Clerk Megan Reid about documents presented to the bar requesting the payments and read the charges against the business. Council members then went into discussion about what action they wanted to take.

Councilman Lowell Chambers said he didn't think the council had a hard decision to make.

"We have no other alternative but to suspend or revoke the license," Chambers said.

Crawford, a Covington resident, did not attend the hearing or council meeting. Mayor Arline Chapman and councilman Mike Harper agreed that the owner had no interest in paying the city due to her absence from the hearing.

"No one has come from the Porterdale Bar to show interest in this or defend the charges," Chapman said. "I don't understand the total lack of interest in trying to explain to us maybe why she hasn't paid."

"It's obvious that she doesn't care," Harper said.

Investigator Doug Clifton represented the Porterdale Police Department during the hearing. Clifton told council that law enforcement could seal and lock up any alcohol in the bar now that the business no longer had its liquor license.

In addition to the revocation, council also voted 4-0 to make legal claims against Porterdale Bar and Grill, and could file a civil suit against the restaurant for the money it owes to the city. Attorney Tim Chambers said the filing could be done by the city's administration.

In other business, council approved a 19.892 millage rate for 2012. The rate is the same as it was last year.

Council also listened to a pre-recorded reading of its sexually oriented businesses ordinance, which was also approved.
The ordinance will regulate sexually oriented businesses and adult entertainment establishments within the city of Porterdale.

The city also authorized city manager Bob Thomson to secure design services from the University of Georgia's Center for Community Design. Thomson said students and experts in the organization could give the city ideas on how to revitalize the downtown area.

After an executive session, Reid was officially appointed city clerk and removed from acting status. Reid will have a yearly salary of $38,000 and a yearly contract that will be up for renewal in January 2013.

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