Pharmacy, insurance agency, street lights on tap
by W. Winston Skinner
Grantville will be getting a drug store, an insurance agency and some more street lights.
City officials announced plans for new businesses at the close of Monday’s Grantville City Council meeting. Mayor Jim Sells said Senoia Drug Company is looking to open a pharmacy in Grantville.
“The negotiations are well along the way,” Sells said. The Senoia company is looking to lease space for the store.
“It will have a Grantville name,” Sells said. He said the store will offer immunizations and free delivery in addition to pharmaceutical services.
There also is “an independent insurance agent who wants to open in Grantville,” Sells said. “We’re moving in the right direction.”
Sells noted the coming businesses join some new businesses — A New Dawn, Stassio’s Pizza and Infinite Realities. A New Dawn is a thrift store, and Infinite Realities sells toys.
“Things are happening downtown,” Sells said.
Something on many Grantvillians’ wish lists for years is a grocery store, but Sells said, “I can’t give you any good news there, right now.”
Councilman Leonard Gomez said there also are plans to add some lighting along Highway 29 coming into town. He talked about “how dark it is” and said he had been working on the project since December, before he even took office.
Gomez said care is being taken to ensure the lighting meets with requirements of the Georgia Department of Transportation and the railroad.
“That’s going to be really great once we get that done,” Gomez said.
In other business:
• The council decided not to vote on a proposal to rescind a policy allowing downtown businesses to have tables and chairs on the sidewalk.
The policy allows a table with an umbrella and up to four chairs. “It does say you can’t restrict movement down the sidewalk,” Sells said.
He advised against changing the policy, saying merchants need help and encouragement from the city.
“There’s a lot going on downtown. That’s changed from the last three years,” Sells said. “People are not in the habit of going downtown because it was under foreclosure for such a long time.”
City Attorney Mark Mitchell said the intent of the ordinance seemed to be “for seating.” As written, however, the ordinance does “nothing to stop anyone from putting a table out there and putting merchandise on it.”
Some businesses had been told by an ordinance enforcement officer that they could not have merchandise displayed on tables.
“I don’t think they should be allowed to place any merchandise out there. Too tacky,” Councilman Barham Lundy said.
Gomez disagreed, saying the practice is “not tacky at all” and is common in downtown Newnan where there are lots of shops and shoppers.
The council ultimately decided to let City Manager Johnny Williams handle the situation.
Councilman David Riley also expressed concerns about sandwich boards. Mitchell said the sandwich boards are covered under the town’s sign ordinance and amending that ordinance would be required to change the rules for sandwich boards.
• Qualifying fees were set for the 2014 election. State law requires the fees to be set by Feb. 1 and to be 3 percent of what the position pays. Council post one and two will have a $72 fee, and the fee to run for mayor will be $108.
• Dee Barry was reappointed to a two-year term on the Historic Preservation Commission. “Ms. Barry has served well, and the board has asked she be reappointed,” Sells said.