Leesburg council gives liquor-by-drink ordinance final approval

LEESBURG, Ga. -- Following the recommendation of City Attorney Bert Gregory, the Leesburg City Council held a "second reading" Tuesday night of the liquor-by-the-drink ordinance passed by voters Nov. 2 and then voted unanimously to approve the ordinance.

Gregory had suggested at the city's December meeting that the council not dispense with a second reading, as it has the power to do, so that citizens would have additional time to weigh in on the matter. The ordinance was passed with little discussion at the city's initial 2011 monthly business meeting.

The city must now establish and approve fees for liquor licenses before issuing one to an applicant.

In an abbreviated meeting that included an executive session to discuss possible land acquisition, the council also voted to appoint Jenny Crisp to an at-large seat on the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission Board and approved Patricia Tharp as a member of the Lee County Health Board. The city also voted to accept a 2011 holiday schedule that City Clerk Casey Moore said mirrored the 2010 schedule.

In a discussion of departmental matters, Finance Committee Chairman Bob Wilson said the city was conducting business within its budget.

"We'll see how things go when the wastewater treatment plant comes online this month, but the bottom line right now is we're running along the way we should be with the budget," Wilson said.

Mayor Jim Quinn appointed new council member Rhonda Futch to head the city's Human Resources Committee. Futch defeated Jeff Sexton in a special called election Sept. 21 to fill the seat vacated by former Councilman Steve Kitchens.

The city will hold its February business meeting on Feb. 1.