Moultrie leaders block alcohol sales near new medical college

Moultrie leaders block alcohol sales near new medical college
The new medical school is set to break ground in a little over a month in Moultrie. (Source: WALB)
The new medical school is set to break ground in a little over a month in Moultrie. (Source: WALB)

MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - On Tuesday, Moultrie city leaders voted to pass an ordinance that would limit business that sell alcohol around a new proposed medical college.

The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is expected to build its South Georgia Campus in Moultrie off Tallokas Road near the intersection of Veterans Parkway.

The new medical school is set to break ground in a little over a month in Moultrie. With huge growth expected, city leaders know many businesses will want storefronts by the new attraction. However, leaders want to control what goes near the new college.

"The medical school is going to be a showcase for Moultrie, Georgia and we want all the area around it to reflect the taste, attitude and grace of Moultrie, Georgia," said City Manager Pete Dillard.

The new alcohol ordinance involving the college was proposed and on Tuesday night, the city council approved it.

The existing city ordinance addresses the sale of beer or wine within 100 yards of a school, and states that no liquor can be sold within 200 yards of the school, except it doesn't directly define the school.

The proposed change to the ordinance makes the same rules that apply to elementary, middle and high schools to be in place for the college as well.

"Some people say, 'Why get involved?' I say look at Victory Drive in Columbus, Georgia, that's why you get involved," said Dillard.

A package store already operates down the street from the proposed school site, it will be grandfathered in. And a convenience store is under construction nearby, city leaders want to get ahead of the development before the school is built.

"We're trying to stay ahead of growth inside of coming in behind and saying we wish we had slowed things down and done them correctly in the beginning," said Dillard.

The council also considered Tuesday night whether to establish a 30-day moratorium on alcoholic beverage licenses throughout the city.

The Tallokas Road zoning does not affect the downtown area. They are two separate zones.

Officials with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine plan to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Moultrie Campus next month. It will be April 26, at 11:00 a.m.

The planned opening date for the school is August 2019.

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