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Caf ordinance passes in council
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Porterdale may soon find a unique business niche in the area, as city council members approved a wine café ordinance at Monday night’s meeting.

The ordinance passed 3-2 with council members Robert Foxworth and Linda Finger opposing.

"As a business owner in the city of Porterdale," said Council member Arline Chapman, "I want to commend the support the council has given to the business community with the approval of this ordinance."

Last month the owners of Corkpoppers, a wine boutique already in business at the Mill Village, requested a special ordinance be put in place that would allow them to serve alcohol and hors de oeuvres more often than their current wine tasting permit would allow. Presently, Corkpoppers may hold wine tastings one night a week for four hours, according to a city ordinance.

A drafted proposal for a wine café was introduced at a June council work session. Strict stipulations dictate that 25 different products must be offered for consumption from no less than 10 different vendors. Also, 20 percent of their for-consumption revenue must come from the sale of food, and beer can only account for one percent of consumption sales.

Restaurants that serve alcohol in Porterdale must have 51 percent of their for-consumption revenue come from the sale of food.

A wine café permit will cost the same as Porterdale’s current beer/wine permit, which is $500; a distilled spirit license costs $2,500. Excise taxes will continue to be collected from wholesalers.

In other news from Porterdale’s City Council meeting, members also approved a new solid waste ordinance as well as approved a water/sewer rate increase for town residents. Because Newton County is increasing their wholesale rate City Manager Tom Fox said the city must pass on the cost to their customers in order to maintain the city’s debt ratios outlined in the contractual obligations of loans the city has received from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority. Residential rates increase by 10 cents to $5.75 per 1,000 gallons for water and $6.33 per 1,000 gallons for sewage. Commercial rates for water increased to $6.40 from $6.30 per 1,000 gallons and for sewer to $7.04 from $6.93 per 1,000 gallons.