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Columbus finalizes revised alcohol ordinance


Nerissa Young



Columbus City Council approved an amendment to the city's alcohol ordinance at Tuesday's regular meeting. 


The council may now allow the sale of wine and alcoholic beverages in Riverside Park. That includes the trail head for the Columbus Riverwalk. 


The vote was 4-2, with councilmen Charlie Box of Ward 3 and Bill Gavin of Ward 6 voting against. It passed without discussion. 


Chief Operations Officer David Armstrong said the ordinance previously allowed beer to be served. This change will allow service of wine, hard liquor and mixed drinks. The policy had been up for amendment for 30 days. 


Applicants must submit a written application with proof of $1 million liability insurance and a nonrefundable deposit. 


Council followed suit with the the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors and other affected entities in unanimously approving the definitive agreement for the Kior project. Kior will manufacture fuel pellets from scrap wood. The plant will be built at the Columbus-Lowndes County Port. 


Attorney Will Cooper briefed council on the agreement. He was appointed special attorney to handle the matter for the city because City Attorney Jeff Turnage had a conflict of interest, Cooper said. Turnage's firm, Mitchell McNutt & Sams, represents Kior. 


Only two aspects of the agreement directly affect the city, he said. One is Kior will provide fees in lieu of ad valorem taxes. The other is the city's share of improving the access road at the industrial park. 


Cooper said the road has already been improved. Instead of costing $364,454 per the loan, the road cost $217,450 thanks to grants and contributions from participating entities. The city is responsible for one-third of that cost.




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