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TALLADEGA — The Talladega City Council voted 4-0 Monday night to approve the creation of an entertainment district downtown, as required for the city’s ongoing Main Street Alabama application process.
Councilman Trae Williams was absent, as was Mayor Timothy Ragland.
The district includes the courthouse square and the businesses with alcohol licenses in that area, including Talladega Bottling Works, Matehuala Mexican Restaurant and the Ritz Theater. In a separate action also approved Monday, the council also approved a beer license application for Bruh Law’s Gourmet Burgers, which also falls in the new entertainment district.
The district also encompasses most of the downtown public parking lots, extending as far as the East Street parking lot next to the post office.
According to the ordinance presented to the council Monday, the entertainment district will allow consumption of alcoholic beverages outside, with certain restrictions. The beverages must be in recyclable paper or plastic cups of up to 16 fluid ounces with the name or logo of the seller on it. You may not carry a beverage bought at one business into another business that also sells alcohol.
You may carry only one drink out at a time. You still may not have an open container in a motor vehicle, and beverages purchased outside the district cannot be brought into it.
The resolution was passed with minimal discussion and no dissent Monday.
A map of the proposed entertainment district in Talladega.
There were two other action items on Monday’s agenda that also dealt to some extent with the Main Street application process.
The first, which was also passed without controversy, was an agreement with the Hall of Heroes to serve as a temporary tourism commission. According to the resolution itself, “this contract would allow for the Hall of Heroes to promote, market and advertise tourist attractions in the greater Talladega area using funds appropriated by the city from the lodging tax collected and earmarked for tourism.” The council also approved a two percent increase in the lodging tax earlier this year.
The other item was actually tabled until a called meeting to be held May 6 at 9 a.m. This ordinance would create a Historic Preservation overlay, which would take the place of the historic preservation district that this council abolished nearly two years ago. After doing away with the district, the council never took any action to replace it with anything..
The preservation rules for the old district were enforced by a historic preservation commission made up of members the council appointed.
The new ordinance would move the preservation requirements into the city’s zoning statute. It would be up to the city building inspector to enforce.
Council President Dr. Horadce Patterson said he would call for motions for immediate consideration of the called meeting May 6. Approval of immediate consideration would have to be unanimous, so if anyone votes against, the council has also set aside the following day, May 7 at 10 a.m., for a second called meeting to take up the issue again. Unanimous consent would not be necessary for immediate consideration at the May 7 meeting.
Also Monday, the council:
—Reappointed Mark Nelson as the municipal court judge for two years.
—Donated $2,500 to Dancing with Stars to benefit the Alabama Council for the Blind.
—Reappointed Rev. Hugh Morris to the Board of Adjustments and Appeals.
—Approved a memorandum of understanding between the city and Alabama Power/Alabama Properties regarding the golf course property. The memorandum approved Monday makes some fairly minor changes to a similar agreement approved at a previous meeting.
—Approved an agreement with the Alabama Department of Education for the 2022 Summer Food Program through the US Department of Agriculture.
—Approved matching funds for the Airport Improvement Project for this year.
—Approved $488,475 in expenditures for the water department, although Councilman Joe Power questioned an $8,400 line item for grass cutting. City Manager Seddrick Hill said he would look into the issue and report back to the council at a later date.
—Discussed paving a road in the Brecon Mobile Home park that an outside buyer has expressed interest in purchasing. No action was taken Monday.