Commerce City Hall

Commerce voters recently approved package liquor sales, but officials want some time to get the town's codes in order before issuing licenses.

In the Nov. 2 election, Commerce residents voted to pass a referendum allowing the sale of distilled spirits/package liquor in a 296-135 vote. City staff are working to update the town's ordinances following that vote. In the meantime, the Commerce City Council has approved a 90-day moratorium on the acceptance of applications and issuing of licenses to sell distilled spirits.

"We have some work to do and felt like it would be prudent for the time being to pass a resolution with a moratorium...giving us 90 days for our staff to work through that ordinance and make sure that we work this out in a way that makes sense for this community," said Mayor Clark Hill. "That way we don't have a rush of people wanting licenses before we're ready."

Hill added the moratorium can be cut short or extended, depending on how long it takes to complete the ordinance changes.

SOLID WASTE NEGOTIATIONS

Also at its Nov. 15 meeting, the council moved to allow city manager James Wascher to proceed with negotiations with Waste Pro following a rebid of solid waste/recycling pickup.

The issue was initiated when Waste Pro came to the city and asked for a $7.63 increase in pickup fees. That would have brought the total cost to $23.34 per residential customer ($18.84 to Waste Pro and the remainder for the city’s brush truck, annual cleanup, etc.). The increase didn’t sit well with some council members and the city sent out a request for proposals for the garbage pickup service.

The city received three bids, with WastePro coming in as the lowest bidder. But the bid wasn’t as high as what the company had previously asked.

WastePro quoted $10.26 for a single-can trash pickup and $5.21 for recycling pickup.

Recycling still remains an issue in the city, however, as a large percentage of the loads are contaminated with non-recyclables.

During discussions Nov. 1, the council was leaning toward opting out of weekly recycling pickup and shifting toward centralized recycling events.

OTHER BUSINESS

Also at its meeting, the Commerce City Council:

  • approved an annexation and rezoning request from Rooker Properties, LLC, for 22.53 acres at 1532 Ridgeway Church Rd. Rooker is seeking an M-2 zoning and plans a 300,000 square foot speculative warehouse on 35 acres at the site (a portion of the property is already in the City of Commerce and appropriately zoned).
  • recognized the city's electric department, which received a safety award from the Electric Cities of Georgia.
  • learned retiring councilman Archie Chaney and his wife will serve as Grand Marshals in the upcoming Christmas parade.
  • approved a Jackson County safety plan for Atlanta Gas Light. No changes were made in the city.
  • certified the Nov. 2 General Municipal Election.
  • approved a bond release for Ashbury 23, LLC, for Highland Estates. Ashbury 23 sold the property to EMC Homes, LLC.
  • approved budget amendments for the State Street parking lot rehabilitation project totaling $620,000.
  • appointed Rob Brown to the parks and recreation advisory board.
  • approved changes to civic center security. The city utilizes off-duty police officers for events where alcohol is served at the civic center. The council approved raising the pay to $50 an hour with a four-hour minimum. It also changed the ratio of officers-to-guests, and now requires one officer per 500 guests.
  • approved road closures for the Hometown Holiday weekend. Little, Oak and Pine streets will be closed Dec. 4 from 4-10 p.m. Lakeview, Washington and Elm streets will be closed Dec. 5 at 3 p.m.
  • heard a presentation from Goodwyn Mills Cawood on the potential redesign of the civic center. Additional coverage from the discussion will be published in next week's paper.
  • learned one seat will need to be filled on the planning and zoning commission. That seat is currently held by Andre Rollins who was elected to serve on the city council. Another seat, held by Duane Wilson, is also up this year (Wilson could be reappointed to that seat).
  • discussed the redistricting maps previously presented to the city. The maps will be sent to the state for a technical review and may not require local legislation as originally thought.
  • held a closed session for approximately an hour to discuss legal and real estate matters. No action was taken.

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