Improvements to winding Davenport Road that include sidewalks for pedestrian safety earned the City of Duluth a Golden Shoe Award from PEDS. The city was awarded the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Award for connecting Davenport Road residents to restaurants and shopping and separating them from traffic hazards. PEDS is an advocacy organization for making the metro Atlanta area pedestrian friendly.
Steve Roberts of Bron Cleveland, which provided engineering and project manager services to the city on the Davenport Road project, presented the award to the city at the Monday (Nov. 14) Duluth City Council meeting. Duluth City Administrator Phil McLemore accepted the award on behalf of the mayor and council. The award was announced at a Nov. 1 PEDS ceremony.
The Davenport Road improvements were completed in July, and a dedication ceremony was held in September. The project included slight widening, new sidewalks, curb, gutter, drainage and repaving of a half-mile section of Davenport Road from Buford Highway to the city limits at Bromley Rowe. Painted crosswalks were added to enable pedestrians to more safely cross side streets while using the sidewalks. The project was funded by GDOT and SPLOST funds.
In addition to the safety benefits, many residents have been inspired to paint, landscape and improve their property along the road, which has dramatically improved the appearance of the neighborhood.
Liquor license fees for Eddie Owen Presents Increased
By a vote of 3-2 the council approved an amendment to the Duluth Code of Ordinances that allows performing arts venues and live music venues to sell or serve alcoholic beverages by obtaining an annual license for consumption on the premises from the city or by hiring a caterer.
Live music venues were added to accommodate Eddie Owen Presents at the Red Clay Theatre in downtown Duluth. The annual license fee was increased from $200 to $1,000 for beer and wine and $3,500 for alcoholic beverages, the same fees paid by restaurants near the Red Clay Theatre. Owen has indicated he plans to initially apply for a license to sell beer and wine.
Owen has agreed to share profits from ticket sales with the city, but he keeps all revenue from concession sales.
Duluth Economic Development Manager Chris McGahee said that while Owen needs the revenue from beer and wine sales, it is not the main reason for the venue. It’s a “music listening venue” not a drinking venue, McGahee said.
Councilman Billy Jones objected to “the dramatic fee increase.” He and Councilman Doug Mundrick, who had suggested a moderate increase instead, voted against the change.
Owen, who recently left Eddie’s Attic in Decatur and leased the Red Clay Theatre from the city to present live musical acts in Duluth, has scheduled his first show for Saturday, Nov. 26. Doors open at 7 p.m. with a concert at 8 p.m. featuring Edwin McCain with special guest Erick Baker. Tickets are $27.50.
His website also lists shows on Dec. 2, 3 and 30 and Feb. 25. Red Clay has several theatrical performances scheduled on other dates in December.
City preparing for winter snow/ice storms
The council authorized Public Works Director Audrey Turner to use $22,000 in contingency funds to purchase a truck-mounted spreader, buy additional salt and sand and hire contractor assistance if necessary in the event of a major snow/ice event similar to last year’s Christmas Day snowfall.