Alabaster council reverses on El Korita liquor license

The Alabaster City Council reversed an earlier decision to deny a liquor license at a recent meeting.

The council voted unanimously to deny an application for a restaurant retail liquor license for Lucia Catano Gomez, owner and operator of

El Korita at 561 Southbrook Village on Oct. 21.

At its last council meeting with all but councilmember Jim McClain present, councilmember Michael Sherwood made a motion, which was seconded by councilmember Henry Hines, to repeal the original decision not to grant the license.

The repeal passed with council president Rick Walters voting &uot;no.&uot; Councilmember Adam Mosley abstained.

On another motion and a second by Sherwood and Hines, the license earlier denied was granted. Again Walters voted &uot;no,&uot; and Mosley abstained.

Also on a motion by Sherwood with a second from Hines, the council approved a retail liquor license for Lucia Catano for Mi Lindo Nayarit on Montevallo Road. The motion carried with Mosley and Walters abstaining.

When asked why he made the motion to reverse the earlier decision, Sherwood said he didn’t know if the council was given all the information when the request was denied.

In other business, Mayor David Frings reported that a Visual Enhancement grant received by the city from the Alabama Department of Transportation for the Interstate-65/Highway 31 interchange north and south will

be let to bid. He said the job should be complete by March 2003.

Jennifer Cairns of Hoover, a third generation owner of the Dairy Queen in Alabaster, asked the council to re-examine its recent sewer rate increase structure in which the burden of the cost of an expanded sewer facility is carried by commercial businesses.

Councilmember Tommy Ryals said the council put a lot of time into setting the recently approved sewer rate.

He said sewer expansion

&uot;which must be built&uot; is going to cost $10 to $12 million. And he said the council followed what other cities have done. He pointed out that the present sewer is at capacity and expansion is needed to attract commercial development.

According to Ryals, Pelham set its highest commercial base rate at $88 and $11.73 per 1,000 gallon. But Pelham’s rates vary depending on what a customer puts into the sewer.

He later explained that Pelham has a $44 base rate and two $88 base rates. He said Alabaster set a commercial

base rate of $44 and $7.73 per 1,000 gallons no matter what is put in the sewer.

Mayor Frings was quick to point out that the per 1,000 gallon rate kicks in after the first 5,000 gallons.

Sherwood made the point that if the city only had houses, &uot;You wouldn’t need a sewer (system). Everyone would be on septic tank.&uot;

Frings also noted that the 5,000-gallon exclusion was provided to give some of the smaller businesses a cushion.

In other reports:

n Sherwood noted that in October police responded to 1,086 calls, responded to 48 accidents, had 402 contacts with motorists, made 59 non-traffic arrests and 17 juvenile arrests. He said animal control received 105 calls and picked up 34 &uot;critters.&uot;

Fire and Rescue responded to 177 calls, transported 71, did 179 construction inspections, six fire drills at schools and provided safety and fire prevention courses at Creek View, Kingwood and Thompson Intermediate.

Hines reported that the public works department made 203 landfill trips, made 5,435 stops, cleaned out sewers and drains, sprayed for mosquitoes and installed rumble strips in Park Forest.

Ryals said the inspections department made 736 inspections. He said new homes were built with a total value of $3.2 million, and the city collected $54,000 in sewer tap fees