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Council OKs street closing, liquor license

News Staff Writer

Atmore City Council members gave tentative approval to a liquor license, approved a street closing for the grand opening of a new business and accepted a bid for a massive municipal sidewalk project during their Monday, August 13, meeting.
All five council members gave the green light to the two-hour closing this Saturday (August 18) of a block of Ridgeley Street. The closure is to accommodate the grand opening of Dirty 30, a wrestling gym that also provides classes and training in aerobic dance and self-defense.
Mayor Jim Staff, who said he thinks the new business is “going to be a great deal for Atmore,” told council members prior to their vote that the street would be closed from noon until 2 p.m.
Council members also approved an application by David Strawbridge, who was seeking a local liquor license for The Publican, Atmore’s first British pub-style drinking establishment, which will also operate on Ridgeley Street.
After Mayor Staff reported that Strawbridge had already obtained a state license, District 4 Council member Susan Smith asked the pub owner if he would serve food. Strawbridge replied that “at first, the business would serve only appetizers” and that he did not qualify for classification as a restaurant.
“Does this fit into our law?” Smith asked Staff, who replied that, “It (the city ordinance) is being changed, just for that.” The council then voted in unison to approve the request, contingent on the ordinance being revised prior to the pub’s opening.
In between those two items, the council accepted a bid of $383,693 from Mobile-based Harris Contracting Services for the installation or replacement of more sidewalks in the city’s southeastern quadrant.
Staff reported that 80 percent of the cost of the impending project will be paid through a federal Transportation Alternatives Program grant, with the city providing roughly $76,739.
The project will extend sidewalks from Atmore Public Library to the point on Medical Park Drive, near Atmore Community Hospital, where the current sidewalk ends. The work will pick up on the southern side of the hospital and extend to Tom Byrne Park and the nearby apartment complex, Staff said.
In other action, the council:
* Formally approved an application for a $72,000 Federal Aviation Administration grant to update the city’s 5-year plan for the municipal airport. The city will pay 5 percent ($3,600) of the cost.
* Reappointed Sydney McGhee to the Atmore Public Library board.
* Reminded residents that Alabama Power employees will be installing new poles along Medical Park Drive from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 16, and that the street would be closed from East Laurel Street to McRae Street while the work is being done.