Columbus denies Giardini annexation

Published 8:57 am Thursday, August 4, 2011

Columbus Town Council denied a voluntary annexation request from Giardini Trattoria Tuesday, Aug. 2 when none of the council members would offer to make a motion for a vote.
Councilman Michael Gage said he had to make a decision based on what he believes to be in the best interest of the town.
“I just didn’t see where financially it would be a good move for the town and the second thing would be what do the citizens want,” Gage said. “For me to go against the citizens’ wishes I would have to have a good reason to back that decision up – there would have had to been a significant benefit there.
“We all know it’s a good restaurant, there’s no denying that. But if it’s not there, it’s not there and I have to do what the people tell me to do.”
Gage said one local citizen did write a letter in support of the annexation but he said many other comments from citizens indicated they were concerned by the prospect of officials further expanding town limits.
This is the second time in as many years that town officials have turned down a request for voluntary annexation made by Giardini owners Joe Laudisio and Mary Lyth. Neither Laudisio nor Lyth would comment after the meeting.
Town manager Jonathan Kanipe during the meeting hit on highlights from a memo he provided to council.
Kanipe said if the Giardini property were annexed, the town would see increased revenue in the amount of $547.53 from property taxes, as well as a $50 license fee. He said sales tax from beer and wine sales, meanwhile, would not likely change because such taxes are collected at the state level and dispersed statewide to towns allowing alcohol sales based on each town’s overall population.
Kanipe said he saw very little expense for the town related to a potential annexation. He said an increased police presence from time to time would be the only change he would see necessary.
Related to police presence, Chief Chris Beddingfield said he studied sight distance measurements on the highway in front of the restaurant to determine safety.
Beddingfield said he saw no problems with the intersection or line of sight. He also mentioned that with the satellite annexation and a potential alcohol license the restaurant would be subject to more scrutiny.
He said currently a person could technically brown bag a case of beer but said it was up to the establishment to keep an eye on any patron who might have had too much.
“It would be much more heavily monitored and regulated; that would be the difference from what it is now,” Beddingfield said.
Laudisio and Lyth submitted this most recent application for voluntary annexation in May.

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