City agrees club can move ahead with seeking liquor licenses

Christmas bonuses, A&P Commission appointment approved

The city of El Dorado now has an ordinance permitting the opening of a new private club.

El Dorado City Council members adopted an ordinance Thursday to make way for a new sports bar and game lounge that is seeking a state permit to operate as a private club and sell alcoholic beverages.

The business will be located at 203 E. Main, just east of the intersection of Main Street and Jefferson Avenue.

City Attorney Robert Rushing previously explained that per a change in state law in 2017, the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control division of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration now requires private clubs to get the OK from the local governing body -- in this case, the city council -- before applying for a permit to operate as such.

Council members heard the first reading of the ordinance on Oct. 12.

Owner Josh Bolin said he and his business partners have been developing plans for the bar and lounge for more than two years, explaining that they are looking to open the club to members aged 21 and up; serve beer, wine, mixed drinks, frozen drinks, etc.; and provide games, live music and other entertainment.

Additionally, the business partners hope to create a family atmosphere and allow those under 21 to visit the club during designated hours, Bolin said.

He said the membership fee will be $5 and more than 100 people have already agreed to join.

Bolin said the club is open to anyone who is at least 21, interested in joining and pays the $5 membership fee.

The proposed ordinance was read for a second time during a council meeting on Oct. 25 and council members unanimously approved the ordinance immediately following the third reading Thursday.

In other business, city employees and elected city officials can expect to begin receiving year-end/Christmas bonuses next week.

The city council also passed a resolution approving the bonuses and maintained the same payment schedule from 2022:

$50, six months or less.

$100, seven months - one year.

$200, one - two years.

$250, three - four years.

$500, five - seven years.

$750, eight - nine years.

$1,000, 10 years or more.

Part-time city employees are not eligible for the bonuses.

Mayor Paul Choate said he also received inquiries from city employees who qualify for longevity bonuses.

"What we're going to do is, the way payroll falls, our payroll administrator would be doing a lot of check-writing to put those checks out at the same time as the next payroll check, so next week would be a good time for her to do both longevity pay for our people and be putting Christmas, or year-end bonus checks out at the same time," Choate explained.

Also under new business, council members appointed Tiffany Olsen, director of sales for The Haywood - El Dorado hotel, to fill a vacancy on the El Dorado Advertising and Promotion Commission.

Olsen is filling a slot that is open to candidates who are owners or managers in the hotel, motel, restaurant or tourism industries.

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