Toccoa Commissioners Place Condition on Bowling Alley’s ABC License

August 15, 2013

City commissioners grant a local bowling alley an Alcohol Beverage Control license, but are placing conditions on that license.

Monday, city commissioners took up the issue of an ABC license for alcohol sales at the Rose Lane Bowling Lanes.

Toccoa City Commissioner Gail Fry said she has concerns about the license because of the bowling alley’s proximity to StephensCountyMiddle School.

“There is a lot of traffic that comes in there in the afternoon right by the school,” said Fry.  “If it (alcohol sales) is going to be during the time school is in session, frankly I have a problem with it.”

Toccoa City Attorney John Dickerson said the commission could address such a concern by placing a condition on the ABC license and Fry expressed a desire to do that.

Owner Ralph Amick said he was willing to work with the commission on a compromise to address their concerns.

However, he said he does not want to do something that would hurt his business, noting that other bowling alleys in other communities are near schools and have not faced limits on their ABC licenses.

After some back and forth discussion, Fry asked Amick if he would be willing not to sell alcohol between 2 and 4 p.m. on days when school is in session as a condition of receiving the ABC license.

“We can do that,” said Amick.

“Then your lunch people would be gone,” said Fry.  “I do not have a problem with the alcohol license, but I have been on that road many days when school gets out and it gets busy.”

Not all commissioners were in agreement though.

Commissioner Ron Seib said he cannot support placing a condition on the license.

“I understand where you are coming from, but something tells me we are treating him differently,” said Seib.  “We all have to abide by the laws, so when we get behind the wheel, we are responsible.”

Vice-Mayor Andy Pavliscsak agreed, saying that the commission should not be placing such conditions on a business.

However, Commissioner Terry Carter said he is okay with it because the business is okay with it.

“I feel comfortable with it just because you are volunteering to do it,” said Carter to Amick.  “Otherwise, I would feel more like Ron (Seib) and Andy (Pavliscsak) because I want to treat everyone fairly.”

Toccoa City Commissioners voted 3 to 2 to approve the ABC license with the condition that the bowling alley not sell alcohol between 2 and 4 p.m. on days when school is in session.

Fry and Carter, along with Mayor David Austin, voted in favor.  Seib and Pavliscsak voted in opposition.

Meanwhile, city commissioners unanimously voted to approve an ABC license, with no conditions, for Club GME on West Currahee Street.

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