Liquor license request carried over

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A liquor license request was carried over again at the Tuesday night meeting of the Troy City Council.

In question, Aposha, LLC’s application for a retail liquor license for a business the owners say would operate with a coffee shop environment during the day and as a bar with water pipes, also known as hookah, at night. City council members said on Tuesday that there were still some issues they felt the business owners needed to address.

“There are a number of reasons I am concerned about this location,” said Johnny Witherington, council president.

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First up, Witherington said he thought there was a “serious flaw” on the business’ application to the ABC Board because there was indication the location had a 68-person seating capacity. Witherington said he would like to hear from the city’s building official and a fire inspector to discuss the possibility that 68 people would be unsafe in the location at 203 Love Street in Troy.

Another concern also dealt with building codes, Witherington explained, noting plans indicated a potential two-deck patio. Outdoor speakers are also planned.

“The presence of that could turn our historic downtown area upside down,” Witherington said of the outdoor speakers.

Aside from building codes and potential safety concerns, Witherington said he felt the operation of a hookah bar in Troy would be a “serious public health hazard” and added that he felt the municipal smoking ordinance should be amended to include water pipes because of those health concerns.

Witherington said water pipes produce 100 times more tar and four times more nicotine than cigarettes do, citing information from the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization.

Mayor Jason A. Reeves instructed Aposha owner, Richard Jones, to contact his office for a time to discuss building codes and other concerns.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for May 14 when an ordinance to ban water pipe use could be discussed.

Until then, District 5 Councilwoman Dejerilyn King Henderson told Jones and his associates that “the issue is still alive and well. It’s not over.”

Also at Tuesday’s city council meeting, members voted to allow the mayor to present the annual Municipal Water Pollution Prevention Program report to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management; to approve a 90-day extension of the Troy Hospital Health Care Authority Loan terms while the council discusses options; to allow the city to take care of a weed problem and bill the owner of the old Shell gas station on U.S. Highway 231; to allow a work change order for the Troy Public Library for the addition of a parking lot on the Elm Street side of the property to be paid for by the library; to authorize the mayor act as a designated representative for the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fun; and to reappoint Willie Henderson to the city’s Healthcare Authority and Police Chief Jimmy Ennis to the East Central Mental Health Board.

Mayor Reeves closed the meeting by reminding those present that TroyFest, including a Saturday evening concert, is this weekend.