Court

City leaders are moving to revoke the business license of Benson Community Center following Sunday morning’s shooting.

The Alexander City City Council approved setting a public hearing allowing the owner of Benson Community Center to defend why a business should continue to operate following Sunday’s incident leaving one dead, another injured and vehicles shot into. A resident who lives nearby has been to city leaders before wanting the business licensed as an event center shut down.

“The council considered revoking the license a couple of years ago,” community development director Al Jones said. “The council decided against revoking the license then.”

Sunday morning the resident found the 20-year-old victim in his yard.

Jones said reports from the Alexander City Police Department reveal a story of numerous calls over the last two years.

“Police have been out there 53 times,” Jones said. “They have been calls of crowds, loud music and shots fired.”

Police chief Jay Turner said if revoking the license is not the route the council wants to take, it can take other measures.

“The city could sue in civil court seeking to declare it a nuisance,” Turner said. “If the courts agree, the building could be torn down.”

The hearing is set for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21 and the owners of Benson Community Center will be served a letter apprising them of the hearing to revoke the license.

Mayor Tommy Spraggins said the business is separate from the property owner.

“Mr. Benson doesn’t own the building,” Spraggins said. “He leases it from somebody else.”

Turner said Benson Community Center does not have a license to sell alcohol but allows guests to bring their own alcohol. It skirts around the city’s ordinance of not selling alcohol at an establishment after midnight.

“There is a reason for the no alcohol sales after midnight,” Turner said. “Almost every time, nothing good comes with alcohol sales after midnight.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.