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The Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission Legislative Review Committee expressed both positive and negative concerns over the minimum drink price increase item and motioned to expand the legislation to the entire county. (Photo/Jason Born)

The Athens-Clarke County Legislative Review Committee discussed creating new rules for establishments serving alcohol, raising the minimum price of alcoholic beverages and possibly collaborating with the University of Georgia on an e-scooter program at a Jan. 23 meeting.

The committee discussed a proposed regulation that would require employees of establishments that serve or handle alcohol to complete a “training for intervention procedures alcohol course” within 30 days of employment, according to the proposed rules.

The rules do not discuss the details of such a training program, but District 7 Commissioner Russell Edwards said the program would be online during the committee meeting.

The proposed rules would also require bouncers working at establishments that serve alcohol to have an “alcoholic beverage security permit … readily available for inspection” by a police officer, code enforcement officer or other official at all times. Commissioners discussed requiring bouncers to have the same permit as a bartender or server rather than having a separate license.

District 2 Commissioner Mariah Parker said requiring workers to obtain a permit after completing the training may place too much of a burden on them.

The committee also briefly discussed raising the minimum price for an alcoholic drink at downtown bars from $1 to $2, a topic which has been discussed since October.

District 4 Commissioner Allison Wright, District 7 Commissioner Russell Edwards and District 10 Commissioner Mike Hamby were in favor of raising the minimum price.

Parker, who has previously expressed opposition to raising the minimum drink price because of its effect on low-income people, said she was “not interested” in the idea. District 9 Commissioner Ovita Thornton was not present at the committee meeting.

Wright said if passed, a regulation requiring a permit to sell alcohol would help enforce a new higher minimum drink price, as anyone found selling drinks for less than the minimum price could have their permit revoked.

The committee briefly discussed a plan to implement an e-scooter program in the city. Edwards made a motion to have the ACC attorney negotiate with UGA to implement a program allowing motorized scooters and bikes on the UGA campus and in Athens. The committee unanimously agreed to the motion.

The Mayor & Commission accepted a recommendation from the LRC to work with the Athens in Motion Committee regarding the e-scooter program at a Jan. 7 meeting.

The Legislative Review Committee will hold its next meeting on Feb. 27.

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