Calhoun’s city council has given the go-ahead for alcohol sales for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, 100 Cracker Barrel Drive.
The council voted unanimously — with councilwoman Jackie Palazzolo absent — to approve a beer and wine pouring license to store No. 424 and manager Mitchell Wexler.
A public hearing for the application drew no speakers.
Also approved by the council was the appointment of Jim Rosencrans to the Calhoun-Gordon County Airport Authority to replace Chip Sloan who recently resigned after two decades of service.
“Chip Sloan has done a wonderful job,” Mayor Pro Tem George Crowley said.
Mayor Jimmy Palmer also took time to thank Sloan for his service to the city.
“Chip has given a lot to the airport authority,” Palmer said. “His service of over 20 years is very much appreciated by the city.”
Council members also approved a pair of motions concerning local utility matters.
First was a resolution approving the Renewable Energy Customer Agreement Tariff No. 1 and Associated Form Customer Agreement, updates to the standard utility terms and conditions and other purposes.
Second was a resolution approving and authorizing the execution of a power purchase contract and agreement between the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and the City of Calhoun.
“This is for a national chain organization that has a presence in Calhoun and they agreed to participate to help with their power cost,” City Utility Administrator Larry Vickery said. “It’s a solar project done by an outside organization.”
During his administrator’s report, Paul Worley said the city’s general fund held $2,652,625 though the month of June, and reported a total operating amount of $3.9 million.
Worley also said the hotel/motel tax through April was a healthy $91,398, up significantly from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
“That’s one of the higher months we’ve seen and one of the first months we’ve been even with, or surpassed pre-pandemic levels,” said Worley, who told the council the city only brought in $53,000 the same time last year. “We had about a 70% increase comparing this April to last April.”
Vickery reported a $5,549,625 general fund for city utilities, with a total amount on hand of $9,264,135 including checking and investments.
City attorney George Govignon asked the council for permission to draft a letter on behalf of the city to express concern over a proposed Georgia Department of Transportation rule change regarding the collection of local right-of-way fees.
“As of July 15th, GDOT is considering a rule change in regards to rule 672-11,” Govignon said. “It profligates fees with regards to what the city can charge for fiber optic carriers who do not actually provide service in the city, but still use city right-of-way.”
Govignon said the current rate collected is up to $5,000 per mile, and he believes the proposed change only allows for a $300 fee. The council approved the motion that a letter be drafted per the Georgia Municipal Association’s recommendation.
The next meeting of the Calhoun City Council is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Depot, 109 S. King St.