A proposed change to the city of LaGrange’s alcohol ordinance would allow more restaurant servers to be able to serve alcohol to customers.
Jose and Kathy Reyes, who own Cisco’s and Los Nopales restaurants in LaGrange, requested the change to allow their servers, many who come from the LaGrange Transitional Center, to be able to serve alcohol.
“We hire a lot of people from the LaGrange Transitional Center,” Kathy Reyes said. “We have had a wonderful experience with these employees.”
Jose Reyes said the restaurant has had a problem finding good help.
“Generation Y doesn’t want to work,” he said. “The people from the transitional center come to work on time, clean, ready to work. They don’t bring their baggage in with them.”
The transitional center serves as a place where those who are just released from prison can live in an institutional setting and get jobs in the community – making their transition back to a normal life. This runs smack into the city’s alcohol ordinance that requires servers to have “ABC” cards, the servers are fingerprinted by police and can’t have a felony on their record within the last five years.
“I have no problem relaxing the ordinance to give the police department more discretion (in issuing the cards),” LaGrange City Manager Tom Hall said. “We’re giving them a license to earn a living.”
Hall suggested the city still issue the cards because “we’d like to know who they are,” he said. But the city could change its rules so that only those who are habitual felons or have a history of serving alcohol to underage customers be excluded from getting an ABC card.
The proposed changes will be forwarded to the city attorney so an ordinance can be rewritten.
Council did vote Tuesday to make a loan of up to $433,660 to the LaGrange-Callaway Airport Authority to help in the acquisition of properties for a runway expansion.
“What I can tell you is, you will get your money back,” Hall told the council.
The authority is in negotiations with 15 property owners to acquire the needed land. Offers have been made on all the property, totaling $433,660, which is the maximum amount of money that would be needed if all the property owners went to court in the condemnation process. The Federal Aviation Administration will pay back the authority for the acquisition costs, but the authority needs to put up the money for acquisition first.
“The authority just needs cash to float the deal,” Hall said.
Hall also received permission from council Tuesday to replace the roof at the Union Street Library. The building is leased by the 100 Black Men of West Georgia and the organization asked the city to look at the roof.
“Bottom line, the roof is failing,” Hall said. “Flat roofs always fail.”
To replace the roof with another flat roof would be about $20,000 but some city council members asked Hall to look into putting a raised, metal roof on the building.
“Either way, this will be a 20 to 30 year fix,” Hall said.