AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - ANOTHER WEEK AND NO ACTION FROM THE AUGUSTA COMMISSION AGAINST THE SMART GROCERY AND ZIDEN GROCERY STORE. RECENT FATAL SHOOTINGS AT THE STORES HAVE LED TO DISCUSSION ABOUT CLOSING BOTH OF ITS DOORS.

ALTHOUGH PROBATION WAS SUGGESTED, NO ACTION WAS TAKEN EARLIER THIS MONTH. NOW, SOME COMMISSIONERS ARE CHANGING THEIR MINDS., SAYING THAT REVOKING THE ALCOHOL, BUSINESSES LICENSES OR PUTTING THEM ON PROBATION UP TO TERMINATION MAY BE NECESSARY.

THE BODY MOVED FORWARD WITH PLACING CLUB CLIMAX ON A SIX MONTH PROBATION FOR ATTRACTING CRIME. BUT, COMMISSIONER STACY PULLIAM IS ASKING TO RESCIND THE PROBATION TO MONITOR THE BUSINESS INSTEAD.

THE GROCERS HAVE HAD MORE OFFENSES THAN THE CLUB HAS AND I’M TAKING THAT INTO CONSIDERATION," pULLIAM SAYS. "BUT BY THE SAME TOKEN...ALL THREE BUSINESSES, ALTHOUGH THEY ARE ALL THREE SEPARATE ENTITIES, THEY ARE TAKING THE PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES TO ASSURE THAT SAFETY IS A #1 PRIORITY.”

COMMISSIONER ALVIN MASON SAYS CONSISTENCY IS NECESSARY.

“EACH ITEM SHOULD BE TAKEN SEPARATELY AND WEIGHED ON SEPARATELY," Mason says. "BUT, AT THE SAME TIME, I THINK THAT WE SHOULD HAVE PROTOCOLS IN PLACE FOR THESE TYPES OF ACTIONS SO THAT, ON THE FIRST GO AROUND, X WOULD HAPPEN, ON THE SECOND GO AROUND Y WOULD HAPPEN, ON THE THIRD GO AROUND Z, THERE PROBABLY WOULDN’T BE A FOURTH GO AROUND.”

SMART GROCERY HAS SECURITY ON CERTAIN DAYS AND DOZENS OF CAMERAS, BUT HAS STILL LOST 60-70% OF HIS BUSINESS DUE TO THE VIOLENCE.

COMMISSIONER JORDAN JOHNSON WANTS TO SEE BOTH GAS STATIONS PLACED ON PROBATION, SO STORE OWNERS CAN WORK WITH THE CITY TO REACH A RESOLUTION.

“I THINK THAT IF SOMEONE IS OWNING AN ESTABLISHMENT THAT IS ADDING TO THE LACK OF SAFETY IN AN AREA, THEY SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO THAT," Johnson says. "I THINK THAT’S WHAT WE NEED TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT, THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THERE HAVE BEEN MURDERS AT THESE LOCATIONS, THERE HAVE BEEN SITUATIONS THAT SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING AT GAS STATIONS.”

NO ACTION WAS TAKEN BECAUSE THE CITY DIDN’T GIVE BUSINESS OWNERS ENOUGH NOTICE. THE DISCUSSION WILL CONTINUE IN TWO WEEKS.

COPYRIGHT 2024 WFXG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.