Recently Augusta instituted a new policy that threatens downtown. It calls for ignoring the city's own licensing requirements and to deny alcoholic beverage licenses to downtown businesses whenever a church group objects.
This policy was put in place when the Columbia County residing preacher of Curtis Baptist Church led his congregation in protest of an alcoholic beverage license for a new restaurant at 1285 Broad St.
Let's be clear about this. Downtown supporters want churches downtown, we even want Curtis Baptist downtown, but we cannot have a vocal minority shutting down legitimate businesses on Broad Street, businesses that are leading the charge in downtown redevelopment.
This issue cannot be addressed without pointing out that Julian Osbon is the property owner of 1285 Broad St. Mr. Osbon and his companies have made huge investments in downtown - investments that Mr. Osbon could easily have made elsewhere.
Mr. Osbon has gone the extra mile by putting clauses into the lease for this property to ensure it will be the type of establishment all of Augusta can be proud of. He deserves the support of downtown boosters.
Paul King, Augusta
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