Oneonta grants alcohol licenses, hires lifeguards

Following its normal prior public hearing policy, the Oneonta City Council granted liquor licenses to Heritage Golf, Pounder’s Seafood, and Toke Sushi Bar and Grill. Due to new ownership and the city’s vote to legalize alcohol, Heritage had to have its license reissued. Pounder’s opened initially without alcohol sales, and Toke will open in the near future.

No one commented on the requests during the public hearing. City manager-economic development officer Ed Lowe noted the city’s alcohol license review committee had unanimously recommended issuing the licenses.

Councilman Danny Robinson had asked about oversight of businesses holding liquor licenses. Lowe noted that the state ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) Board has that responsibility. He shared reports which indicate the board aggressively performs that function and that the city has received no notice of any of its licensed establishments having had any infractions.

Upon recommendation from councilor Nathaniel Butler, who co-ordinates city park and recreation matters with the council, members hired 21 seasonal lifeguards. Ethan Adams, Jacob Adams, Bailey Anderton, Andrew Bean, Riley Boyd, Ashton Brooks, Maddie Cheak, Samantha Davis, Parker Gilliland, Stephanie Gilliland, Leslie Gonzalez, Kelsey Hornbuckle, Jaden Kent, Ferris Phillips, Dylan Salter, Emilee Claire Smith, Dawson Thomas, Macey Wallace, Maggie Wallace, Colton Walker, and Alexandria Wester comprise that group.

Councilors agreed to advertise for two summer library employees. Librarian Ricky Statham indicated his desire to have the employees hired at the council’s May 23 meeting.

Mayor Ross Norris won approval to hold a joint meeting with the city school board on Thursday, May 4, to review that board’s strategic plan. Lowe obtained approval for his request to place approval of the city’s latest strategic plan on the council’s May 9 agenda. The council also granted Lowe’s request to hold a May 9 after-council public hearing to examine downtown master plan proposals.

In his report portion, Lowe advised councilors of his upcoming meeting with the county commission. The city and commission have discussed financial assistance the county might make to the Wallace State-Oneonta Community College campus. Lowe said the city has asked for a $1 million contribution.

Before concluding his report, Lowe praised several city employees who had helped with the city’s recent skid-car training. Completion of that training by city employees reduces city insurance premiums. The city hosted other governmental workers from throughout the county for the training as space permitted.

EMA director Don Roybal won council approval for the county’s 2016 hazard mitigation plan. That approval permits the city to file for grants should serious disasters affect it.

Councilors Hal Blackwood and Tonya Rogers joined Butler, Robinson and Norris for the April 25 meeting; Councilman Richard Phillips did not attend. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.