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Nonprofits now need alcohol license for special events

CONYERS -- Nonprofit organizations will now be required to have an alcoholic beverage license in order to get a special events permit to sell alcohol in the city.

The City Council voted unanimously, with Councilman John Fountain absent, at its regular meeting June 6 to amend its alcoholic beverage ordinance to restrict special event licenses to those who also have an alcoholic beverage license. Under the amendment, nonprofit organizations that do not have an alcoholic beverage license would be able to have alcohol sales at special events under the licensing of the company catering the event.

In addition, the ordinance amendment allows the mayor and council to delegate approval for alcoholic beverage special event permits to the city manager or his designee.

In other action, the council approved a contract for cash sponsorships of the Georgia International Horse Park between the city and Topline Equestrian Marketing LLC.

According to Jennifer Bexley, director of the GIHP, the sponsorships arranged through TEM would not require any upfront cash from the horse park. The contract calls for TEM to receive a 30 percent commission on any cash sponsorships that the city receives under the contract. The city would be required to pay the commission within 15 days of receipt of the sponsorship money.

"We will never have to pay out any money that we didn't already collect," Bexley said.

The contract also calls for TEM to be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses that are related to securing sponsorships. Bexley explained that the TEM would have to secure written approval prior to incurring the expenses in order to be reimbursed.

Revenue from cash sponsorships would go into the city's general fund, Bexley said.

Bexley told the council that the horse park has been working for some time to arrange cash sponsorships but had found that most companies wanted money up front.