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Council to look at improving busy intersection
Meeting scheduled for 9 a.m.
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    In anticipation of increased traffic around a future CVS Pharmacy location, city leaders are planning improvements to what is already one of the Statesboro’s busiest intersections.
    Statesboro City Council will consider today a motion allowing city-staff negotiate with contractors to redesign and improve the heavily trafficked cross-section of Fair Road, Tillman Road and S. Zetterower Avenue.
    Council approval, during the 9 a.m. meeting in City Hall’s chambers, would be a first step toward reforming the active, often crowded intersection into a safer and more efficient juncture, according to City Manager Frank Parker.
    “That intersection is a very busy intersection, and backs way up for folks taking left turns off of S. Zetterower onto Fair and off of Fair onto Tillman. It is also pretty tough when trying to leave the Zaxby’s and Wendy’s parking lots onto Fair Road.,” Parker said. “This study should come up with a solution to those traffic problems inherent to that location… and explore how we can make that a safer intersection.”
    According to staff, the intersection has been marked for improvement for quite some time due to current and forecasted congestion issues. The future construction of a CVS Pharmacy at the location is expected to increase volume; so too is a bike path planned by Georgia Southern University that will pass by the site. 
    “That intersection has been on our radar for a while, as Georgia Southern (University) has continued to close some interior streets and pedestrian/bike trails have been constructed in the area,” said Robert Cheshire, Statesboro City Engineer. “We realize that the intersection is a key point, where a confluence of things comes together. We want this project to increase vehicular capacity and also improve the safety of pedestrians and bikes crossing the area.”
    Though work could lead to temporary lane closures and possible detours, he said, people will not be adjusting their morning routines any time soon.
    “Once we go through negotiations we will go back to council for final approval,” Cheshire said “We are facing at least one to two years before completion. We need Council buy-in, possibly Georgia Southern buy-in, funding, and a permit from the Georgia Department of Transportation.”
    “We will also conduct public meeting to look at various ideas,” he said.
    Tuesday’s motion would permit staff to begin negotiations with Dublin-based consulting engineers Wolverton & Associates, who was chosen by a city committee as the best option for the project, Parker said.
    In other business Tuesday, a pair of Statesboro businesses will appear on Council’s agenda hoping to become some of first area restaurants to hold a new classification of alcohol license.
    The Crow’s Nest (moving into the former Pizza Inn location on Northside Dr.) and Primetime Lounge (moving into the former Godfathers location on S. Main St.) will have notifications of applications for a Sports Restaurant alcohol license appear on the council agenda — the notice of application is followed by a vote for license approval in council’s next scheduled meeting.
    The Sports Restaurant alcohol license evolved out of a recent overhaul to the city’s alcohol code as an alternative to the traditional license. In lieu of abiding by a 50/50 rule requiring a restaurant to generate at least half of its revenue from food sales, Sports Restaurants may match alcohol sales with proceeds derived from food and other forms of entertainment — like cover charges for bands, bowling, pool, games or merchandise sales.
    Though, unlike traditional license holders, Sports Restaurants are limited to selling alcohol Monday through Saturday only, Parker said.
    A work session will immediately follow the morning meeting.
    The session is scheduled to present a health insurance quarterly report, the 2011 fiscal year audit report and the current year’s second quarter financial statements.
    The session will also be held in the City Hall Council Chambers.
   
    Jeff Harrison can be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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