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Guytons Olive Branch gets closer to beer, wine sales
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The Olive Branch Restaurant in Guyton is one step closer to getting a license to sell beer and wine by the drink.

Guyton City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance to “regulate and tax the sale and pouring of malt beverage and wine” at Tuesday’s council meeting. Alderman Phillip King was the only one to oppose the ordinance.

A second reading will have to be approved at the next meeting before Demetrios Sotiropoulos can apply for a license. He told Council and those who attended the meeting that he was upset that newspapers kept referring to the license as an “alcohol license” as it implied the sale of distilled spirits.

Guyton city attorney Ramona Bartos clarified that the ordinance before council only deals with the sale of malt beverages and wine not distilled spirits.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
• Council approved the purchase and resolution to authorize a lease supplement for a 2008 Ford Expedition fully equipped with both police and firefighting gear. The cost of what interim city manager and police chief Randy Alexander calls “a public safety vehicle” is $43,042 on a five-year term with annual payments of $9,730.42 (fixed interest rate of 4.22 percent).

The city has the option to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease for $1.

Guyton resident Larry Fisher questioned the purchase since council had not voted on a public safety department yet.

“It’s kind of putting the cart before the horse,” he said. “Spend money when it’s time to spend money.”

Alexander explained that the city had just hired a new police officer on Monday and therefore needed another vehicle.

In regard to the cost factor, he said that the difference between the Crown Victoria and the Expedition was less than $1,000.

“If I can upgrade for less than a thousand, then it only makes sense to go that route,” Alexander said.

• Mayor Michael Garvin assured LaVerne Bowers that the city was moving forward with streetlights for the Whitesville community.

• Alderman Jeff Lariscy and Alexander discussed the results of the online police survey.

• City discussed using a traffic citation company called nCourt that will allow individuals to pay for their tickets online for a small processing fee. The city will not have to pay for this service.

• Bartos went over the water permit conditions that have to be implemented by Aug. 15.