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City to hold council meeting at GSU
Tuesday meeting beigins at 6 p.m. at Nessmith-Lane Building
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   Regular attendees of Statesboro City Council meetings should head over to Georgia Southern University at 6 p.m. Tuesday as the council holds its regularly scheduled evening meeting in the Nessmith-Lane Building.
      The campus meeting has been in the works since council members Will Britt and Gary Lewis and then candidate Travis Chance committed to holding a meeting at GSU during the 2007 election. Chance said bringing a council meeting to GSU and the student body was an important part of fostering the relationship between the city and the university.
      "Georgia Southern is such an important part of Statesboro," Chance said. "We just want to show them and let them know that it is a very Georgia Southern friendly environment at city hall. We just wanted make them a part of the process."
      Mayor Joe Brannen said he and council will be available before and after the meeting to talk with students and answer questions.
      "We wanted to go out there, make contact with the students and listen," Brannen said. "If the students have a concern, we'll do what we can to work on those concerns to help make the relationship stronger."
      Brannen also said the meeting on campus will run just like a typical council meeting. Tuesday evening, after an invocation by Chance, who also will lead the recitation of the pledge, the meeting will start with a welcome speech by a representative of GSU's Student Government Association.
      After that, the council will consider approving or denying a business license for Circle Double RR Taxi Service, an alcohol license for Sparkers Convenience Store and will reconsider the application for an alcohol license for the Platinum Lounge.
      The board will also discuss amendments to the city's franchise agreement with Georgia Power and will consider approving the nominations of City Manager Shane Haynes and Finance Director Cindy West to the Statesboro-Bulloch County Land Bank Authority. The authority was created to dispose of properties that were purchased or received by the city due to abandonment or tax sale. The four-member board consists of two city appointees and two county appointees. Staff Attorney Michael Graves will ask the county to select its two members for the board should the council approve these appointments.
      The council also will consider some minor changes to the Statesboro municipal code regarding qualification for an alcohol license. First, the city will change language to allow lawful aliens in the United States eligible for permanent residence to obtain an alcohol license so long as they have been in the U.S. lawfully for at least a year. In addition, the city will consider changing language to prevent anyone convicted within the last 10 years of a felony, a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, and sexual-related crime or any criminal offense relating to alcohol, taxes or gambling from obtaining a business license. The existing ordinance sets the time frame at five years.
      Britt said getting more involvement from GSU faculty, students and staff was important to all members of the council.
      "They're part of the community," Britt said. "It's a further extension of the current administration's attitude of including Georgia Southern in things and making sure they don't feel like they're separate."
      The council meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the large lecture hall in GSU's Nessmith-Lane Building.