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City eyeing changes to alcohol law
City of Statesboro seal

At the most recent Statesboro City Council meeting, one council member asked for a work session to discuss amending the alcohol ordinance. Now a notice of the city's intent to amend the ordinance is on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting.

At the Jan. 22 meeting, District 4 Councilman John Riggs said the alcohol ordinance is due for an overhaul.
"I've been talking with a few people with the city. We've been talking about revamping it for a long time," Riggs said. "It's still got a bunch of Band-Aids on it. In some places, it contradicts itself."

Riggs said he wanted the council to hold a work session about the ordinance. The session, he said, would not need to be a long one because city officials had been over the topic many times and City Attorney Alvin Leaphart already has mapped out a revised ordinance.

No workshop has been announced. But the agenda for the council meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday includes "Notification of intent to amend Chapter 6 of the Statesboro Code of Ordinances (Alcoholic Beverages) in its entirety." This notice would not necessarily lead to immediate action or detailed discussion.

In an interview Friday, Riggs said he wants interested members of the public to have an opportunity to see the proposed amended ordinance and comment on it before the council takes final action.

Leaphart looked at ordinances from cities of similar size that also have large numbers of students and several restaurants that serve alcohol, Riggs said. From this research, the attorney sent suggested changes to council members.

The proposed amended ordinance is more concise, Riggs said, and he believes it would be easier for police and city staff to enforce.

"But before we vote on it, I would like to have a work session to actually have all the interested parties and all the voting members of the council and the mayor to be in the room to have an open discussion," he said.

Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9454.


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