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Group opposes nightclub

Amy Clark and her father, Jerry Randolph, oppose the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners granting an alcohol license to the owner of a nightclub across the highway from where they reside in the Boneville area.

They let their feelings be known when they addressed commissioners during a commission meeting held at the county courthouse in Thomson on March 16.

Ronald Smalley has leased what used to be the Hilltop Tavern, 2802 Augusta Highway. The new business, if allowed to open, would be known as 30 Rounds Sports Bar, according to records on file in the commissioners' office.

Mr. Smalley has requested that commissioners grant him an alcohol license so he can begin business operations there.

Mrs. Clark, along with about 20 other residents living in that area, presented commissioners a petition that seeks to block the license because of loud music and traffic concerns.

Mr. Randolph spoke first, saying he was opposed to it, "It's just a dangerous intersection."

The nightclub would be at the intersection of Augusta Highway and Boneville Pond Road.

He mentioned that one of the problems from the former tenant was they sometimes had as many as 50 vehicles squeezed into a parking lot that can't accommodate that many vehicles.

Commissioner Paul McCorkle asked County Planning and Zoning Director Fred Guerrant whether there is a parking limit at certain businesses.

Mr. Guerrant said there is, but indicated there is no clearly defined parking area there.

Mrs. Clark said one of her main concerns in the past has been loud music.

"I have nothing personal against Mr. Smalley, because I do not know him," Mrs. Clark said. "If the license is issued, we want some measures taken to help us. This has been a recurring problem for years," she said

Mrs. Clark said her family lives about 370 feet or so from the establishment.

"We could still hear the noise, loud and clear," she said.

Mr. Smalley let Mrs. Clark and commissioners know that he is "not a boom, boom, boom" person.

"I can't stand loud music myself. I'm a soul person -- I like soul music."

Commission Chairman Charlie Newton informed Mr. Smalley that the sheriff's department had received numerous complaints from previous businesses there.

He also said it would be unfair to punish Mr. Smalley for the past "sins" of a former business owner there.

Mr. Newton said commissioners are going to address the safety issue first.

Commissioners are expected to re-address the issue at their Wednesday, April 7 meeting, which will be held at 10 a.m. in the grand jury room of the courthouse.

Web posted on Thursday, March 25, 2010

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