The council took an informal vote Tuesday night after owners Jon and Jan Dyer had earlier called Mayor Steve Baswell expressing concern about the application process for getting a license from the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. Whenever the state grants a liquor license, the municipality still has to formally allow the establishment to serve alcohol.
The Dyers recently bought the old Crossroads Café at the intersection of Alabama 77 and Alabama 144, and hope to open a new restaurant early next year.
“I don’t know what would happen if we said no,” Baswell told the council. “I guess it would save them the headache of going through the process.”
The council’s vote is not binding, but Baswell said he would tell the owners the council would not oppose the restaurant serving alcohol.
The council on Tuesday also appointed a new municipal judge for the town. Judge Larry Ward will step down at the end of the month after more than 20 years serving Ohatchee and be replaced by Lance Bell. Baswell told the council Ward recommended the town hire Bell.
“He has experience working with small towns like ours,” Baswell said, noting Bell has worked as a municipal judge for Pell City and Ragland. “I think it’ll be a smooth transition.”
The town will pay Bell $500 a month on a two-year contract.
In other business, the council:
— Approved a contract with The Fence Place in Anniston for materials and installation for a chain-link fence to surround the town’s new storage facility on Alabama 77. The total cost is $5,870.
— Approved a new policy for starting health insurance for new employees on their date of hire as opposed to the start of the next month.
— Approved a one-time pay increase for full-time employees for $100, and part-time employees for $50.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.