Commissioners may pull alcohol licenses - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Commissioners may pull alcohol licenses

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Some Albany nightclubs are in danger of losing their alcohol licenses. Hearings got underway for those businesses Monday. City commissioners listened to testimony the owners and from police who don't want commissioners to renew those licenses.

Mayor Dorothy Hubbard made it very clear during today's first round of hearings- that public safety has to come before business. That's why commissioners are trying to decide whether to deny liquor licenses for Charley B's and Club Xscape.

The owner of Club Xscape is one of five Albany business owners going before city commissioners, trying to get their liquor license renewed.

Tim Shelton said, "My business is not a nuisance to the community, and I really care about my patrons, and each night that my establishment is open I always have security."

Last month Albany police and the city attorney's office recommended that city commissioners not renew alcohol licenses for five bars because police say they respond to so many calls at the businesses.

And Monday, city commissioners heard testimony during two hearings- for Charley B's and Club Xscape.  "We understand that there's a business side to this, but there's also the public safety and the public image side of it. So it's important for us to be able to listen to all the evidence and make the right decision about whether we are in a safe situation," said Mayor Hubbard.

The owner of Charley B's says he's willing to add extra security if his license is renewed.  "We had a case, similar, where one of the reasons why we renewed the contract, renewed the license was because the person put up safety cameras inside and outside. And that to me speaks to that responsibility." said Hubbard.

Police testified saying there have been several fights in, or our outside Club Xscape involving minors. Tim Shelton, owner of the club, says in his 12 years in business, he's only had two citations for having minors on his property. In the city of Albany it is against the law for a business with a liquor license to have people under the age of 21 on the premises.

"I don't condone them drinking, but them being able to come into a club, I believe that should be permissible," said Shelton.

Mayor Dorothy Hubbard says while it's important for businesses to thrive, public safety always comes first. Hearings for Big Daddy's Club and the Sandtrap Lounge are scheduled for Wednesday morning at 9:00.

The hearing for Legend's will be rescheduled for a later date. City commissioners are scheduled to vote on whether to renew each license at their meeting on January 22nd.

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