Monday, May 06, 2013

Theater at Epps Bridge Centre Seeking Beer and Wine License At Busy Oconee County Commission Meeting Tomorrow Night

Agenda Also Contains Appointments

Near the end of a very busy agenda tomorrow night, the Oconee County Board of Commissioners is set to take up an application for a beer and wine license at University 16 Cinemas now under construction inside of Epps Bridge Centre off Epps Bridge Parkway.

The application is to allow the sale and consumption of beer and wine in what is labeled on the application as the food service area, a banquet room and one of the theater’s 16 auditoriums.

The beer and wine will accompany a menu including hamburgers, quesadillas, pizzas and a list of salads and appetizers, according to the application.

Sign: Epps Bridge Parkway

The theater, originally scheduled for opening by Memorial Day, won’t open until June, according to Oconee County Planner Krista Gridley, who told me that the final plats were submitted to the planning office on Friday.

Most of the attention at the meeting tomorrow night will be focused on the decisions the BOC will make on applications from Bernard Garrett for a special use permit and a hardship variance to allow operation of a materials recovery facility at 1441 Dials Mill Road.

Some suspense also surrounds the announcement by the Board of its decision on appointment of a member to the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board, to which former Commissioner Chuck Horton and John Caudill have applied.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in Courtroom 1 on the third floor of the courthouse in Watkinsville, having been moved from the regular Commission meeting room on the second floor because of the large attendance expected for the hearings on the Garrett requests.

Bo Chambliss Is Applicant

The beer and wine application was submitted on Thursday by C. Saxby Chambliss Jr., president of GTC Epps Bridge LLC, St. Simon Island. GTC stands for Georgia Theatre Company. Chambliss goes by the name Bo and is the son of U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss.

Kelsey Fox, 1052 Cantrell Lane, off U.S. 78, is listed as the registered agent responsible for sale of the alcoholic drinks.

Fox and two others have completed the required training for the Oconee County license, according to the application.

The theater will have a full-service kitchen operating from noon to 10 p.m., and the theater itself will operate from noon to midnight.

Auditorium 8, one of 16 in the theater, will hold 270 people, according to preliminary plans submitted for the theater.

Decision Made on HLCMB

The BOC went into executive session for 10 minutes following its April 23 agenda-setting meeting to make decisions on applicants to the Hard Labor Creek management board, the Community Mental Health, Development Disabilities and Addictive Diseases Service Board, and the Family and Children Services Board.

As is usual in such cases, the commissioners did not announce their choices once they returned to regular session. Those decisions normally are announced at the next regular meeting, which, in this case, is tomorrow night.

Dennise Grayson, with a Watkinsville post office box address, was the sole applicant for the mental health board, and Beverly Baker Griffin, from Dials Mill Plantation in the west of the county, was the sole applicant for the family services board.

Caudill, a civil engineer currently serving with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan, asked to be considered as a citizen member of the Hard Labor Creek management board.

Horton served on that Board until February, when, following the lead of BOC Chairman Melvin Davis, the commissioners removed him. Horton unsuccessfully had challenged Davis for the BOC chairmanship in the July 2012 Republican primary.

Nonvoting Alternate

Though the BOC could have allowed Horton to stay on the Board as a voting citizen member and could appoint Caudill or Horton as a regular voting member tomorrow night, the county advertised for a citizen to serve as a nonvoting alternate for a two-year term expiring on Dec. 31, 2014.

The ad, prepared under Davis' direction, said that the qualified “applicants may have expertise in any of the following areas: engineering, watershed management, finance, water treatment plant and reservoir operations, or associated environmental areas.”

Caudill, 1300 South Rossiter Terrace, outside Watkinsville, was represented by his wife at the April 23 meeting. She made the case for her husband based on his engineering credentials and experiences with similar projects. The video below is of her presentation.

Horton, 1061 Ramblewood Place, also near Watkinsville, focused on his experience with the project and knowledge about some of the challenges upcoming as the reservoir comes online and the board has to find resources to build the water treatment plant and distribution infrastructure. The video below is of Horton’s presentation.

Saxon Future Voting Member

Back in February, when the BOC replaced Horton, it appointed Horton’s replacement, Mark Saxon, as an alternate and moved Utility Department Director Chris Thomas from the position of alternate to voting member. Emil Beshara, Public Works director, also was appointed as an alternate.

The stated goal was to give Saxon a chance to learn about the management board before he was elevated to voting status.

It seems likely that either Caudill or Horton will replace Beshara as an alternate.

Oconee County has three representatives on the management board, and partner Walton County has four.

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