Decatur City Commission approves alcohol license for new restaurantThe Decatur City Commission met on Monday, May 2, to consider approval of an alcohol beverage license and amendments to the city's financial policies. Photo by Zoe Seiler.
Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission, at its May 2 meeting, approved an alcohol beverage license for Tortuga y Chango, a new restaurant that will open in Oakhurst in June.
“It’s in the space that was previously occupied Lawrence’s Café in the 900 block of West College Avenue,” Assistant City Manager David Junger said. “Tortuga y Chango is seeking an ABL for beer and wine beverages and spirituous liquor beverages for consumption on premises, as well as a catering license.”
Co-owner Alan Raines has operated El Tesoro in Decatur and a second location in Atlanta, as well as Iris in East Atlanta Village.
The application was reviewed and approved by the Decatur Police Department and all fees have been paid. The restaurant owners have applied for all local permits and a certificate of occupancy. The fats, oils and grease trap is still pending approval by DeKalb County Watershed. The city commission approved the alcohol beverage license, but will issue it once the restaurant gets its certificate of occupancy.
The city commission also approved four revisions to the city’s financial policies as part of the fiscal year 2022-2023 budget that will go into effect in July. One of the amendments increased the purchasing amount City Manager Andrea Arnold may authorize without city commission approval from $10,000 to $25,000.
City staff conducted a survey of nearby cities to determine the proposed spending threshold. The limit in other DeKalb County cities varies from $10,000 to $50,000. The purchasing amount in Avondale Estates is $10,000, Brookhaven is $50,000, Clarkston is $15,000, Doraville is $25,000, Dunwoody is $50,000, Lithonia is $10,000, Stonecrest is $25,000 and Tucker is $30,000, Madison said.
“I think what we’re proposing with the $25,000 is in line with those figures and will also help reduce some of the administrative costs that our departments experience when implementing projects, although it would not preclude the city manager from brining items before [the city commission] if appropriate,” Madison said. “This limit hasn’t changed at least since Mr. Junger and I have been here, so I think we’re due for a revision there.”
Madison has worked for the city since 2008 and Junger has worked for the city since 1990, according to their LinkedIn profiles.
Madison said the amendments are putting into writing what the city already practices and observes, but aren’t reflected in the written document. The other updates include:
– Clarifying that the city’s due diligence related to issuing tax-exempt debt includes preparation and review of disclosure documents.
– Revising the city’s revenue policy to say the city has a “rigorous collection policy” instead of an “aggressive collection policy.”
– Changing to existing wording on purchase orders to state that the city doesn’t require purchase orders and clarifies that purchase orders can only apply when a vendor requires the city to issue one.
In other business, Mayor Patti Garrett reminded those in attendance that City Hall and other city buildings are now fully open.
The city first announced on April 13 it was lifting more COVID-19 restrictions and reopening all buildings effective May 2.
The seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases reported in Georgia is 377.9 as of April 13. On Jan. 11, 2022, the seven-day moving average was 16,388.7. On Jan. 11, DeKalb County reported 1,997 cases per 100,000 people. As of April 13, the county is reporting 433 cases per 100,000 people.
“Based on current data and trends, the city of Decatur will move to Phase IV of the reopening plan on Monday, May 2, 2022,” a previous announcement from the city said.
Masks are no longer required, but are strongly encouraged during indoor group settings. Social distancing will also be encouraged using signage and floor markers. The city will continue to clean and sanitize heavily used spaces. City commission and other board meetings will continue to be held in person and through virtual platforms, if available.
The city does encourage those who are feeling sick or unwell to stay home.
“We are hopeful that Covid-19 cases will continue to decline; however, in the event that circumstances arise that cause negative health impacts in the community, our organization will respond appropriately,” the city’s announcement stated.
Editor Dan Whisenhunt contributed to this article.