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Remerton bars could soon close earlier

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By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

November 5, 2008

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The small town of Remerton has a reputation as a late night party place.

But city leaders want to change that.

They say crowds of bar hoppers are making the town dangerous.  They're considering new rules that would force drinkers to call it a night earlier.

Police in Remerton say they've seen an increase in fights and alcohol related problems in the city. Most of those happen in the early morning hours.

"About 43% of the total cases happen after 2:00 AM," says Remerton Police Chief Mike Terrell. "People that are hanging around at 4:00 AM or 4:30 AM, we want to get them headed to where they are going so we can decrease the amount of disorderly behavior."

It's no surprise. Remerton's strip of bars is a popular hangout for crowds of all ages, every day of the week.

Last call is at 3:00 AM, an hour later than Valdosta. Which mean these bars see an early morning surge.

But that could soon change.  "We are thinking about closing at two and have the patrons out of the bars by 3:00 AM," says Remerton Mayor Cornelius Holsendolph.

"Council has decided to possibly change the ordinance so the bars close at the same time as Valdosta's," Terrell adds.

The potential changes may not please all bar managers and patrons.

"There's always going to be some who agree with it and some who don't. But I think the general consensus is on the safety of the citizens and the police officers," Holsendolph says.

But city council says safety in the city comes first.

"We want to help reduce alcohol related problems.," Holsendolph adds.

City Council will vote on the new alcohol ordinance at their meeting on Monday November 10th.

At that meeting, the council will also update their liquor license ordinance.

They could also pass a rule that would force all licensed bars to serve food and get 30% of sales from food.