“Eighteen years ago when I ran for city council, I promised the citizens of Taylorsville that I wouldn’t allow alcohol sales in the city,” council member Vicki Lanier said. “A lot of things have changed in those 18 years, but I feel like I have to keep that promise. I vote no.”
Council member Rose Scott, saying she just didn’t think alcohol sales were right for the city, also voted no.
A handful of Taylorsville’s 209 residents had made their objections known about alcohol sales within the city limits at a public hearing in November.
Currently only one store would be affected by the ordinance.
“We had a lot of citizens tell us that our city just isn’t ready for the change right now,” Mayor Mitchell Bagley said. “Taylorsville is a unique situation in that it stretches across both Bartow and Polk counties, and that creates a big headache for administering the law. It could require two different ordinances or at least one that both counties agreed upon. It would require two separate law enforcement agencies. Then there’s the expense of drawing up the ordinances, establishing a licensing board, establishing fees, background checks, you name it. If we had 10 stores it might be a different story, but we only have one store and that’s a lot of expense for one store.”
Following the alcohol vote, the council learned that Taylorsville received a city charter in October 2013 — normally a cause for celebration.
But hold the applause — the city has been chartered since 1916.
“For some reason, the city of Taylorsville has never collected franchising fees from AT&T,” Bagley said. “We collect fees from Georgia Power, Atlanta Gas Light Co., and Comcast, but somehow AT&T was overlooked. When I contacted the AT&T attorney to request the payments, she said the state website did not list Taylorsville as a chartered city. The mistake was rectified in a couple of hours.”
A franchising fee is a 7 percent addition to each utility customer’s bill. Those fees are given back to the city for improvement projects.
In other business, the council;
• approved a proposal to relocate the city’s annual Christmas party from city hall to a roomier locale.
“We were busting at the seams Saturday,” Bagley said. “It was a great turnout and a great party, but we need more room.”
• authorized the purchase of six folding tables for use in city hall.
• authorized a loan of no-kill animal traps from Bartow County to reduce the number of feral animals in the city.
• authorized replacement of a stolen city limit sign.
The Taylorsville City Council will meet next on Monday, Jan. 6, at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.