South Georgia Flea Market, located at 1601 S. Slappey Blvd., is facing obstacles in its attempts to open for business. The hold-ups are frustrating vendors eager to conduct business there.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Despite outward appearances, the latest inhabitant of the Albany MacGregor golf plant is still far from opening, and vendors who have signed up to to sell their wares inside the sprawling building aren’t happy about it.
The 234,000-square-foot facility that is set to become the South Georgia Flea Market and Yard Sale has apparently hit a regulatory snag.
According to city officials and documents, the store’s owner, Billy Lee Pollard, filed the necessary paperwork to get an occupational tax certificate, or business license. As per city policy, the city treasurer’s office notified the Albany Fire Department which, under state law, must inspect new businesses to make sure they meet applicable state and local fire codes.
Assistant Fire Chief Ron Rowe said that some of his inspection staff completed what he says was a “courtesy walk-through” with the owner shortly after his OTC application was filed to point out things that would need to be brought up to code before the owner could pass a formal inspection.
“We went and went through some things with the property owner so that he would know what needed to be done to bring the property up to code before we had a formal inspection,” Rowe said.
Pollard was then scheduled for a formal inspection on March 5, a date Rowe says Pollard called to cancel because he said he needed more time to respond to the code violations. So Pollard was put on the fire department’s “will call” list, meaning that Pollard could call for an inspection whenever he felt that the property has been properly brought up to code.
Meanwhile, vendors, some of which were granted business licenses by the city, are reportedly irked because they can’t sell their items until Pollard gets his license.
A person who claimed to be a vendor but who didn’t leave a name or contact information, called The Albany Herald Tuesday and said he was frustrated that opening the business was taking so long.
Pollard has yet to return phone calls seeking comment.
Ava O’Neal, the head of the city treasurer’s office, said that businesses aren’t granted an OTC until her office receives a certificate of occupancy from the fire department, something that can’t happen until a formal inspection is completed.