Reynoldsburg billiard hall wants another shot at permit

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A Reynoldsburg billiard hall may not have a straight shot at serving alcohol, but that’s up for City Council to decide.

At the Jan. 8 meeting of Reynoldsburg City Council’s Service Committee, council members appeared to be divided on whether The Spot Family Fun & Billiards Club at 1762 Brice Road should receive a special exception use permit that would allow them to serve beer and food on a six-month trial basis.

"We’ve been discussing this since May," commented Mike Maszon, owner of the club. "We’re looking to add a concessions area and some beer sales."

Maszon said the business is struggling, and while he does not want the facility to be a full-scale bar at this point, having beer available would boost his business.

"League play is what we’re really missing out on," he said. Maszon said there are security cameras on site, and the police have never had to respond to any issues inside the billiard hall.

"I don’t see how this would be detrimental at all," Maszon told council.

Councilman Mel Clemens, chairman of the Service Committee, got straight to the point.

"I don’t think this would be a benefit to the city," he said.

Although the billiard hall has not been a problem, other liquor establishments in the vicinity are, Clemens noted. "I just don’t feel we need another alcohol situation in this district until we get this cleaned up."

Clemens said the problem stems from  bars in the Columbus portion of the Brice Road and East Livingston Avenue area.

"We’ve had no problems with this business," he emphasized. "I’m talking about the area."

Councilman Ron Stake disagreed, and said improving police patrols in the area is the key.

"I would much rather see a full storefront with a well-regulated facility," he told Maszon. "I’m willing to give you a chance."

The Service Committee agreed to send the measure to council with a recommendation for denial.

"The idea is to send it to council and let the full council decide," Clemens told Maszon.

Council will consider the matter at its next meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14 in council chambers at Reynoldsburg Municipal Building, 7232 E. Main St.

In other Reynoldsburg City Council news:

•During a special organizational meeting of city council held prior to the committee meeting, Stake was appointed to serve as president pro-tempore of council. The Community Development Committee will consist of Chairwoman Antoinette Newman, Donna Shirey, Leslie Kelly and Fred Deskins. The Safety Committee will include Chairman Doug Joseph, Stake, Kelly and Deskins. The Service Committee will include Chairman Clemens, Shirey, Kelly and Deskins. The Finance Committee will consist of Chairman Stake plus Clemens, Joseph and Newman.

•The Community Development Committee heard a report from Parks and Recreation Director Paul Walsh regarding the authorization of a contract for maintenance of landscaping beds and plants as part of the Main Street Corridor Revitalization project.

Walsh said the city advertised for bids twice in November, and the lowest bidder was the Rocky Fork Co.

 

"It was significantly lower than what we expected," he said. They are offering to do the work for $83,158, when the city fully expected to pay $100,000. Walsh said he checked the company’s references, as well as the Better Business Bureau, and everything looks good. "I am confident this company can handle this project," he said. Walsh asked the committee to give the go-ahead to a two-year contract and pass it on emergency.

•Mayor Brad McCloud asked the Finance Committee to recommend the hiring of a human resources director. The city has a human resources consultant who receives $25,000 a year. McCloud said the city no longer has a development director, and he does not have a personal secretary, so the city should have the funding to pay $55,000 a year for the 30-hour-a-week position, which does not include benefits.

Duties of the human resources director will include updating policy, record keeping and "streamlining – there will be an organizational re-evaluation," McCloud said.

Stake said he wants something in writing to show where funding for the position will originate.

"I’m certainly not standing in your way if this is what you want to do," he said.

City Auditor Richard Harris said, "I think you are going to find at the worst this is a revenue neutral situation."

Shirey asked how the salary compares to those in other cities. "That, to me, seems to be quite a bit of money for a part-time job."

Harris said a previous full-time human resources director in Reynoldsburg received $55,000 a year plus $16,000 in benefits.

The committee agreed to send the proposal to council with a recommendation for adoption at the Jan. 14 meeting. Council president William Hills said since this is a personnel matter, council will adjourn into a closed-door executive session to discuss details of this proposal.

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