Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

X-Mart set to reopen after 8-year fight

6-4 vote settles 8-year fight against business

  • Follow Crime & courts

An eight-year fight to keep an adult video and novelty store out of Augusta has ended.



Topic: Augusta Commission
 - Complete coverage in our topic page:

On Tuesday, Augusta commissioners voted 6-4 to settle two Augusta Video X-Mart lawsuits pending in federal court for $550,000.

Under the terms of the settlement, X-Mart will be issued an adult entertainment permit and business license, allowing it to reopen its doors at 1367 Gordon Highway.

The Florida company's local counsel, William Sussman, said X-Mart likely would reopen in a few weeks.

Commissioners Jimmy Smith, J.R. Hatney, Don Grantham and Jerry Brigham voted against the settlement. Brigham estimated that the X-Mart suits had cost the city about $150,000 in legal bills.

"While it was expensive, it probably was productive," Brigham said. "We had the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals say our business license ordinance is constitutional, as far as regulating the adult entertainment industry."

In 2002, commissioners tried to prevent X-Mart from opening by passing an ordinance that prohibited business licenses from being issued to adult businesses along gateway corridors.

X-Mart sued over the ordinance's passage, which was done without required public hearings, and was later awarded damages of $131,000 for lost income and profit from April 2002 to July 2002, when the city passed a new business license ordinance.

Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason said although he wouldn't shop at X-Mart, actions by a previous board to deny X-Mart a business license were wrong.

"You're kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't," he said of the settlement. "It cost all of us, but those decisions were made seven or eight years ago."

In other action

A final push by Commissioner Don Grantham to give greater preference to local vendors failed Tuesday, with the commission voting 7-2 to accept a recommendation made by Augusta's Procurement Department.

Grantham had suggested that, in jobs valued at less than $10,000, local vendors who bid within 5 percent of the low bid get the contract at whatever price they bid. He made a similar proposal, which also failed, last week in a committee meeting. Commissioner Jerry Brigham said the proposal could result in the city paying a local vendor more than the low bidder.

The commission approved 8-2 a recommenda-tion by Procurement Director Geri Sams that allows local bidders to win the job if they're within 5 percent as long as they agree to match the low bidder's price. Grantham and Jimmy Smith voted against it.

The commission also approved 9-1, with Brigham voting no, funding for Augusta Neighborhood Enhancement's Barton Village Community Center. The funds, $30,500, run out at the end of the year and are much less than the community center has received for the former federal Weed and Seed endeavor.

Neighborhood Enhancement Director Bettye Jones said the center hated to be cut but was prepared to recruit additional volunteers.

Augusta Technical College already has agreed to pay the salary of a GED instructor at the center, according to Adult Education Executive Director Stefanie Bowie.

Comments (244) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
KatieLou
0
Points
KatieLou 05/20/10 - 11:11 pm
0
0
Baron, If I want advice about

Baron,
If I want advice about my focus, believe me, you don't have any that I need. I know it's your all in all, but I'm simply not monomaniacal about the government's systematic robbery of Americans. And so far, I haven't had to fall back on being aggressive and rude the way you have been when there are differences of opinion.

Corgimom,
You really know everything, don't you? I'm surprised I have the temerity to present an opinion with you on this forum to explain what fools the rest of us are if we don't to see things as you do. (Still, I wish you hadn't managed so consistently to miss the point, or else distort it and then ridicule the distortion. There's something really nasty about that last maneuver, nasty and banal.)

You're exactly the kind of person I'm scared to death is going to be deciding what health care my loved ones and I are allowed to receive. Hard and haughty are an unpleasant combination but add an overlay of deliberate obtuseness and the only option is to shrug you off. You don't discuss, you pound. We're not your students here.

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 05/21/10 - 01:00 am
0
0
Someone please take away her

Someone please take away her thesaurus, she's killin me.

KatieLou
0
Points
KatieLou 05/21/10 - 01:15 am
0
0
The lament of a No.5 hat

The lament of a No.5 hat size.

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 05/21/10 - 01:29 am
0
0
Will this place be open 24

Will this place be open 24 hours, I can't remember what the sign said the last time I wasn't there.

libertarianvoter
0
Points
libertarianvoter 05/24/10 - 12:52 pm
0
0
Well it's Monday... No one

Well it's Monday...

No one addressed the fact that there are single people that may want to attend this store. Even if you come from the side that says that porn breaks up marriages, then you're leaving out a large chunk of society that may not be in a relationship. Why shouldn't they be allowed to indulge in sexual pleasures? Toys are a lot safer than multiple sexual partners, so if we're playing this "correlation" game, then sex toys may prevent many ppl from obtaining STDs. ;) (I'm being a bit facetious in case you couldn't tell)

libertarianvoter
0
Points
libertarianvoter 05/24/10 - 01:00 pm
0
0
Double Post whoops!

Double Post whoops!

Back to Top

Top headlines

Kettle donations rise in 2014

After a disappointing showing last year, donations to the Salvation Army's local Red Kettle Campaign have risen nearly 20 percent in 2014.
Search Augusta jobs