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Underage drinking an issue

Issue discussed at recent RH City Council meeting

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POSTED: April 12, 2007 5:00 a.m.

 

Bryan County Family Connection Director Tara Jennings and Richmond Hill Police Chief Billy Reynolds made a presentation to the mayor and council regarding underage drinking at the March 20 meeting.

They showed a film depicting the negative effects drinking has on young people and how accessible it is to them in spite of the law that prohibits them from obtaining alcohol.

Jennings then presented a power point presentation displaying the results of a local survey among Bryan County students which she said showed a large percentage have used tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.

Jennings said she previously showed these statistics to the Bryan County Board of Commissioners, who encouraged Family Connection to share this information with the municipalities.

Jennings and Reynolds said they are both concerned about statistics and are planning on organizing a public forum in which officials and citizens alike can come together to discuss potential solutions.

Jennings said she is actively advocating against this problem by distributing educational materials and through the Fatal Vision program.

Reynolds said he is looking closely at local ordinances mandating alcohol in the interest of making some additions to combat underage drinking. He said he is working on a proposal to both track keg sales and target vendors who are violating laws pertaining to alcohol sales to minors.

Reynolds' proposed ordinance entails doing a background check on clerks who handle alcohol and issuing a card that would enable them to sell it. If they are caught selling to minors, their card would be pulled. He added that there should also be penalties for businesses who house multiple workers who have had their cards revoked.

In other business:

- A proposal by Tidewater Real Estate, LLC was approved to zone three lots near the intersection of Laurel Street and Ford Avenue for commercial use.

- Preliminary plat requests for four large parcels of the upcoming Richmond Hill Plantation subdivision were approved.

- As a follow-up to complaints about the outer appearance of Dollar General, Planning and Zoning Director Steve Scholar said he spoke with the regional manager and they will be building a fence to hide the dumpsters and empty crates.

- Finance Director Bob Whitmarsh reported that "everything looks normal" in regard to January’s city financial report, and it was adopted by council.

- A request from Millie Hilliard to serve beer and wine at a class reunion on June 8 was approved. The reunion is for RHHS classes 1950-1969.

- A closed session was held following the regular meeting in order for the mayor, council and city attorney to discuss pending litigation involving land developer Ellis Skinner and his proposed Colonial Marsh subdivision.

 

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