Dodge City Town Council approves road projects, challenges local business over licensing

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Dodge City Mayor Tawana Canada said that she would turn the Little Vegas Thrift Shop over to the Sheriff’s Office for allegedly continuing to operate without a business license. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune) 

DODGE CITY, Ala. – The Dodge City Town Council Thursday evening awarded a contract to M. C. Paving of Hanceville to perform repairs, and resurfacing to Wagon Wheel Road and County Road 205.  

  •  On Wagon Wheel Road, the company will patch potholes, apply tar tack and resurface a 900by18foot section of road with new asphalt at a cost of $32,000. 
  • On County Road 205, the company will fill potholes, grade and lay tar and rock to a 1,120by12foot section of road and entryways at a cost of $13,500. 

The council also considered a proposal for a larger project on County Road 260 projected to cost $87,500, but was advised that a project of over $50,000 would have to be put out for bids, which the council decided to do. 

Little Vegas’s future a gamble 

In March, the council heard from Jeffrey Hefner, owner of the Little Vegas Thrift Shop, who came to question Mayor Tawana Canada over her reported refusal to renew his business license after he installed gaming machines in his business. Hefner complained that the Town had denied him a license renewal over the machines while a truck stop in town had the same machines, adding a claim that the Cullman County District Attorney’s Office had approved the machines and saying that he would go to the Alabama Attorney General’s Office. 

 Canada replied, “If the attorney general says yes, those machines are legal, then yes, I will give you a business license, but not till the sheriff, someone from his office, someone with authority, gives me written notice that I can put on file.”  

Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry said that Hefner’s machines have been recently inspected by the AG’s Office and were found to be out of compliance with state gaming machine regulations, so the Sheriff’s Office delivered a notice of removal to the business.  

 On Thursday, Canada told the council that Little Vegas was still open without a business license, and opened the floor for discussion on what to do. After discussion over whether the machines in the shop were turned on while the owner awaits word from authorities, Town Attorney Hugh Harris advised that, even if the machines are unplugged, the owner still has no license to operate the thrift shop, and that the town should turn the matter over to the Sheriff’s Office. The mayor said that she would do so. 

 In other business, the council tabled consideration of a property maintenance resolution that could penalize residents for not taking care of their yards after Councilwoman Heather Langley said that she was uncomfortable with the idea of telling people how to keep their yards, and other council members agreed. 

 The council also announced Saturday, April 17, 2021 as the annual PALS Spring Cleanup, and said that bags will be available at Town Hall. 

 The Dodge City Town Council meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday evening of each month at Dodge City Town Hall. The public is invited to attend. 

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com