From staff reports
The North Jefferson News
FULTONDALE — The Fultondale City Council passed a resolution at its regular meeting Wednesday that defines what businesses are considered to be "nightclubs" and also enacts strict regulations for them.
The resolution defines a nightclub as "any alcoholic beverage establishment where there is a band, orchestra or other form of music or musical entertainment and a floor space for dancing." City Attorney Charlie Waldrep said it might be possible for a business to become a nightclub temporarily simply by meeting the three criteria.
The resolution states that the "sale, service and consumption of alcohol after 8 p.m. creates public health, safety and welfare concerns, the city of Fultondale desires to ensure the sale, service and consumption of alcoholic beverages is done in safe manner."
Fultondale Mayor Jim Lowery said the resolution is modeled after other similar resolutions in Alabama Cities, including Birmingham. The resolution does not ban nightclubs outright.
Under the ordinance, nightclubs are required to have one security personnel for every 100 people occupying the business after 10 p.m. The security would also have to be trained by a "reputable company," and a certificate of training completion would have to be submitted to Fultondale's chief of police. Nightclubs are also required to have video surveillance and bar anyone 21-years-old or under from entering the business from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., unless the business has stopped serving alcohol during that time. All nightclubs would have to submit a security plan to the chief of police, fire marshal and building inspections officers for approval. Failure to follow the resolution's guidelines could result in alcoholic beverage licenses or permits being revoked by the mayor.
Lowery said the council was also considering amending its pool table ordinance to ensure it complies with the nightclub ordinance. The ordinance requires any business with a pool table and alcoholic beverages in the same location to appear before the council. Lowery said the council would be reviewing the pool table ordinance, and might ban pool tables and alcohol in the same business altogether; he said, although no such business is currently open in Fultondale, the city had had problems with them in the past.
In other business, the council:
• recognized several U.S. Hwy. 31 businesses for rebuilding since the April 27 tornadoes devastated their buildings. Lowery said the council would continue to recognize others, including homeowners, who rebuilt in future meetings. Whitworth, Inc., Jernigan Health Care, Inc. and TriGreen Equipment were all awarded with commemorative plaques by the council
• agreed to become a “conduit” for the Mt. Olive Senior Center, at the request of the Jefferson County Commission. Lowery said the Jefferson County Office of Senior Services requires a senior center to be attached to a governmental entity; as Mt. Olive is an unincorporated area, the senior center has been attached to Morris until now. Councilman Joe Bolton said the change would not cost the city any additional money.
• approved a business license for Superior Contractors of Alabama. The business is located at 1727 Decatur Hwy.
• adopted the city's general fund budget for the next fiscal year, which started on Oct.1 and goes through Sept. 30, 2012.
• heard a recommendation by city inspections officer Ed Hawkins about limiting yard sales to three per lot per year.