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      City Commission looks into event center policy

      After a long discussion, Albany City Commissioners have voted to approve a concept to regulate "event centers" and pass the ordinance on the city's planning commission for review and recommendation.Examples of "event centers" already in Albany include the State Theater and the Flint Riverquarium.Michael Tilson, Director of Code Enforcement, approached the board about an expired moratorium on "event centers" in the city. The moratorium was put into place back in December of 2011.Under that code, no new centers were created. This was to allow time for city officials to define what event centers are and layout how they should operated.In Tuesday's meeting, Tilson provided the board with several options concerning event centers.Option one included having city officials regulate event centers. Under option two, event centers would be prohibited all together. With option three, officials could make no changes to the current ordinance that is now in existence.Michael Tilson has recommended that the board approve option one.Commissioner Tommy Postell says his main concern is providing alcohol to underage teens. He says event centers are sometimes a scheme to sale alcohol to minors because teens can get their friends to get alcohol for them and no one would know.James Taylor, Albany City Manager, says event centers are held to the same rules as any other business with an alcohol license; they cannot sale alcohol to minors.Right now there are four centers with an alcohol license.

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