Albany City Commissioner Tommie Postell says he's uncomfortable knowing Albany State University and a church are in close proximity to a former restaurant someone wants to transform into a check cashing business that sells alcohol.
Postell says the community should have an opportunity to weigh in on if they want the business in their area and that its more than a boundaries issue.
According to state law and local ordinances a business that sells beer or wine must be at least 300 feet from a school or college. A business that sells distilled spirits must be at least 600 feet from a school or college. Code enforcement measured the distance from the potential store at 301 East Oglethorpe Boulevard to ASU using GIS, Geographic Information System, and say the business is in the clear. The location is 868 feet to the ASU property line and 1,154 feet from the ASU learning facility.
Chris Cohilas is the attorney representing APH Enterprises LLC and he says his client just wants to move forward. "He's prepared to invest over a million dollars in a property that has sat unsold for three years. So we're asking the commission to please look at the evidence that's been presented so far that we're in complete and total compliance and we're outside all the proximity prohibiting and let us go ahead with this business" says Cohilas.
Postell says he's concerned freshman and sophomore ASU students would find a way to buy alcohol from the establishment. Cohilas says the workforce has been trained by the city to not sell alcohol to underage people. He also adds that the business owner has another similar business and the average age of their customer is between 30 and 50 years old.
Postell says he doesn't want to prevent new business from coming to Albany, he just wants to triple check its within the boundaries of legal rights and that the citizens of the community agree with the business.
Commissioners agreed to have a public hearing to discuss the potential pro's and con'sâ|meaning the fight between the potential store and the city commission isn't over.