• 41°

Cordele City Commissioners agree to research consolidation

By BECKY CRISSMAN

becky.crissman@cordeledispatch.com

CORDELE — City commissioners here unanimously agreed to approach the county to jointly research the possibility of consolidation.

Even if the city and county decide to move forward with consolidation it is not something that could happen overnight. A majority of citizens must pass a referendum before it can be approved by the state legislature. Once issue becomes part of the local public agenda, and all petitions and studies have been completed, a new charter will have to be drafted and that charter will then have to be either ratified or rejected. If agreeable by the county, City Manager Edward Beach said the process begins with the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute where the study will be handled. If the referendum passes the matter will go before the state legislature and the U.S. Justice Department.

During his report to commissioners Beach presented several items requiring action by the board. The first of those items was the second reading to amend the alcohol ordinance of the City of Cordele to accommodate the formation of a Downtown Entertainment District. The amendment to the ordinance will lift the proximity requirements involving schools, college campuses and churches in regards to holding an alcohol license. The license would be for Consumed on Premises applications only and those businesses applying for said license will be required to provide proof that 60% of their sales will be food.

The Downtown Entertainment District will encompass only the Main Street District area from 8th Avenue on the north boundary, 17th Avenue on the south boundary, 8th Street on the west boundary, and 5th Street on the east boundary. Commissioners approved the second reading by a vote of three to one. Those in favor of the motion were Vesta Beal Shephard, Wesley Rainey, and Royce Reeves, Sr. Commissioner Jeanie Bartee was the only opposition.

Beach also presented commissioners with a request to approve an application for a Beer and Wine Consumed on Premises license. Missy Hughes submitted the application for Caddyshack Bar and Grill, located at 15 Aberdeen Circle. Chief Lewis Green approved the application on June 20. Commissioners approved the motion with a three to one vote with Bartee again being the only opposition.

Beach presented commissioners with an Encroachment Agreement for block 33, lots 1-3 located on 14th Avenue. The owner of the property is Joy F. Adams who requested the encroachment of city right-of-way for the installation of fencing. Commissioners approved this request unanimously.

The board congratulated fellow commissioner Jeanie Bartee for being named to the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government Municipal Training Board. That board works closely with the Georgia Municipal Association in the formation of training curriculum for elected and city officials.