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City Commissioners Discuss Liquor Stores, Brew Pub Ordinance, Mobile Food Services, and Development

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Photo by Lydia Berglar – The City of Trenton discussed legal matters surrounding the sale of alcohol at the June 12 meeting. As Jay’s Liquor on McKaig Road is nearing completion and the third store begins construction, reports spread that the market will not be able to support three liquor stores.

The June 12 City of Trenton commission meeting covered alcohol-related ordinances and the dissolving and formation of development/city planning groups.

Mayor Alex Case mentioned that citizen and business owner Ryan Faircloth approached the city about a resolution to dissolve the Trenton Planning Commission, explaining, “Back in the mid 90s when this planning commission was appointed, we could not find rules, regulations, or what they’re supposed to do. We talked about just dissolving it.”

Mike Norris (police commissioner) asked, “It’s not needed, is it?” Case answered, “We’ve used it. We reestablished it, and when we were doing things for the liquor stores, they were a big help on that, but really what they were supposed to be doing, we could not find anything in the minutes…It was established, but there was nothing established about what they’re supposed to do or not supposed to do.”

He continued, “[Ryan Faircloth] did bring us some other documents explaining the zoning board of appeals. We’ll still have a zoning board of appeals. It’s established within our charter. It has exactly what it’s supposed to do, but not the planning commission.”

The commission voted to dissolve the Trenton Planning Commission.

At the end of the meeting, Case also reminded the commission about the need to move the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) forward, saying, “We’ve had a few meetings, but we’d like to get some more involvement. Four core members of the seven must be tax-paying residents who own and live on property within the city limits and have an economic interest in the redevelopment and revitalization of the downtown development area.”

He noted that they have talked about extending the DDA area from the east side of Highway 136 at the high school to the west side of Highway 136 at T&T Golf Carts.

Case then brought up a “proposal to enact a moratorium for package sales of distilled spirits.” The city can enact a moratorium for up to 180-days. After three liquor stores applied for licenses, they enacted the current moratorium which will soon expire. Therefore, they must continue enacting a moratorium every 180 days, agree on what to put in the ordinances, or allow anyone to apply for a liquor license at any time.

Case explained, “We need to have a meeting to discuss what we want to do to update the distilled spirits sales. Do you want the three that are currently here or leave it open?”

Monda Wooten (street commissioner) asked, “How can we go about this? I would say we really didn’t need any of them, but if we’re going to have them, I feel like the most we should’ve had is two…Could we say, if one ever closes, we won’t let another one open?”

Terry Powell (parks and animal control commissioner) agreed with Wooten, and the board agreed to enact another 180-moratorium while they make an official decision about how to proceed.

Faircloth, who attended the meeting, said, “I was told that one will go out of business due to the current sales of the first one. You will probably have an empty building somewhere.”

Case confirmed, “I spoke to one of them too. He’s got the same feeling.”

Chief Steve Beaudoin read the May police report in place of Mike Norris (police commissioner). The Trenton Police Department answered 346 calls in May and completed 1,533 business checks. 147 traffic stops resulted in 65 citations being issued.

Lucretia Houts (fire and utility commissioner) reported that the Trenton Fire Department answered 95 calls in May, ten of which were fire related and 40 of which were canceled en route.

Case noted that a public hearing will be held at City Hall on June 29 at 6:15 p.m. This hearing is about two ordinances: first, the brewery pub ordinance, and second, updating current zoning processing laws (per state regulations).

Faircloth has also approached the city about an ordinance for mobile food services (such as food trucks). Case asked the commissioners to read about it. He said, “This is something we don’t currently have, and if we don’t have it in our ordinances, we gotta add it.”

Regulations (such as licensing requirements and guidelines about how far away from other restaurants mobile food services need to be) will be part of the ordinance.

Mindy Haworth reported that since January, 175 new patrons have joined the Dade County Public Library. She also reported that through a state grant, Time with a Teacher is returning to the library. This one-on-one tutoring offers any Dade County students time with certified teachers. Haworth hopes it will launch in July, and it will run throughout the upcoming school year.

At the end of the meeting, Case reminded the commissioners to meet with the heads of each department to discuss budget needs. Budget meetings will be happening in July and part of August.

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