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September 5--  The city of Lyons is sending a signal it won't tolerate the sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors.

Police Chief Wesley Walker informed the city council Tuesday night his department and the Georgia Department of Revenue conducted undercover operations and found that three businesses sold to minors.  He identified them as Amman's Convenience Store, the Open Air Market and the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant.

"Under a city ordinance we can declare those businesses a nuisance and shut them down," Chief Walker reports.  

The area around Amman's on Northeast Broad Street and another nearby convenience store has long been a high crime and drug sale area in Lyons.  Chief Walker says authorities are trying to clean it up.

"Right now we have deterred a lot of the activity down there.  It seems to be getting somewhat better, but we still have a long way to go," he says.

In actions at its monthly meeting, Mayor Willis NeeSmith reported the city has acquired property adjacent to Partin Park for parking and possible new sports fields.  The city paid Bob Moore $95,000 for 2.8 acres of land at the intersection of Washington Street and U.S. One and paid the Bill Brown estate $16,000 for another 1.6 acres.  Also, Moore donated almost an acre of land to the city.

Mayor NeeSmith says the city has received a $500,000 state grant for road improvements on North Lanier Street.

The city council approved a property tax rate of 2.89 mils which is the same as last year and plans to approves the city's budget at its October meeting.

The city is also getting out of the residential trash business.  It has reached agreement with Republic Services in Vidalia which is also seeking to take over the city's commercial trash collection.  Republic is buying the city's trash truck and is expected to start work in Lyons in the next few weeks, according to the mayor.