JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville City Council voted unanimously Monday night to revoke the business license of Brother’s Bar owner Shedrick Ridley after a shooting outside the bar last month injured three.
“We’re trying to keep Jacksonville safe,” Council President Sandra Fox Sudduth said after the meeting. “That’s what we’re thinking about with it being right in the middle of town.”
Ridley declined to comment when reached by phone after the vote.
After a 50-minute closed-door executive session at the conclusion of the meeting, council members emerged, and the vote was added to the agenda. The revocation, which is set to take effect Wednesday, was passed without much public discussion.
At its previous meeting in December, the council held a public hearing on the possible revocation, but did not vote. Ridley spoke before the council at that meeting, asking for another chance, saying he had already beefed up security and would be installing more cameras.
The council originally awarded a license in July, allowing Ridley to reopen the bar. Brother’s had been in and out of business and between owners for a few years after first being opened in 1976.
According to Jacksonville police Chief Marcus Wood, the dispute leading to the shooting arose between one group from the Talladega area and one from Bessemer. About 200 people were in attendance at a concert at the bar in the early morning hours when shooting occurred.
In other business, the council passed a new set of zoning rules.
The new zoning ordinance covers rules throughout the city on how property can be used, both commercial and residential. The document contains rules on everything from what types of businesses can go where to how many unrelated people can live in a residence. The new document completely replaces the city's old set of rules.
The document has been in the works for about three years, according to Mark Stephens, the city’s director of planning and development. Stephens and city building inspector Mark Williams drafted the document, which was approved by the Planning Commission and first presented to the council in a meeting in July 2018.
After a revision process, the document was originally scheduled for a first reading in October, before additional changes were made to the document, and it was re-advertised. A first reading was held at the previous council meeting in December.
“I’m sure we’ll be back tweaking it before long, but at least we got it to this point,” Mayor Johnny Smith said after the vote.
The entire document can be found on the city's website.
Also during the meeting, the council:
— Approved the purchase of a sewer truck from Anniston Water Works, which offered to sell the truck to Jacksonville after the receipt of a new, larger truck. The 2016 truck comes at a cost of $155,000.
—Approved the purchase of a 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe to replace a police car that was damaged in a pursuit. The new vehicle is expected to cost around $41,000, but the department will receive $12,725 from an insurance claim for the damaged 2013 car, according to Wood.
— Approved Dec. 31, 2020 as a new holiday for Jacksonville city employees. Employees previously had a half day off on New Year’s Eve.
— Approved a cancer insurance policy for the city's Fire Department that would offer financial assistance if a firefighter is diagnosed with cancer. The policy will cost the city $5,850 per year.
— Authorized Smith to sign an agreement with engineering firm Goodwyn Mills Cawood to replace the city’s water and gas meters at a cost of $15,000.