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Covington council to reconsider alcohol ordinances Feb. 5

COVINGTON, Ga. – On the second day of their annual retreat at the Covington Municipal Airport, Covington City Council members Friday reached a consensus to reconsider an ordinance that will allow customers to bring their own beer or wine into businesses like art shops.

Under the proposed ordinance, customers would be limited in the amount of beer or wine they could bring in to no more than 700-milileter of wine or 36-ounce of unopened beer.

Another proposed ordinance would allow businesses to provide amenity drinks to people who visit their stores. Businesses would be limited to providing those drinks to two days a month. They would also be limited in the amount of alcoholic beverage they could provide a customer.

A third proposed ordinance will allow businesses to provide alcoholic drinks to their customers as part of a service package. Those businesses would also be limited in the amount of alcohol they can serve. They will also have to pay for a background check and a license fee.

The ordinances voted down by a 4-2 vote in August, elicited strong emotions, both for and against when first discussed last summer. During the last vote, council members Michael Whatley and Josh McKelvey voted in favor of the measures while current members Kenneth Morgan, Hawnethia Williams along with former members Chris Smith and Ocie Franklin voted against.

Franklin and Smith were defeated in November by Anthony Henderson and Susie Keck respectively.

The vote will be on the agenda for the council’s Feb. 5 meeting.

The council also reached consensus on researching alternatives for where to dump the city’s solid waste and putting a contract for the service out for bids. They also agreed to hold to hold quarterly town hall meetings at city hall during 2018.

During the two day retreat, Mayor Ronnie Johnston and members of the city council, along with some members of the city’s staff, took part in team building activities and council members expressed their legislative priorities for the coming year.

Among the topics raised for discussion was the layout for the new section of the city cemetery, Legion Field, West Ward parks, Central Park and traffic cameras on Highway 278.