A Bibb County department is putting together a digital map to show every place in the county that can sell alcohol. This comes after several commissioners expressed concern that too many package stores in certain areas can lead to crime.
Bonita Foye lives off of Macon’s Pio Nono Avenue behind a package store.
“There ain’t but that one right there and the other one down on Pio Nono and the ones on the other end of Pio Nono,” says Foye.
But it is those clusters of liquor stores down the road from her that Foye says scare her.
“They let them stand around and stuff like that, and they hanging around and stuff. That means trouble's going to come,” says Foye.
Commissioner Elaine Lucas says she has noticed that trouble.
“These places that have the alcohol license and then there are other places nearby there are increased numbers for calls of assistance because there is some problem,” says Lucas.
Lucas says she wants to evaluate if the county is giving too many permits in certain areas.
“How many is enough? How many is too many? How many do we want in an area where a school is?” says Lucas.
That is why she asked the county to create a map to show every place with an alcohol license, and it turns out the maps show these clusters.
“Towards the west and south, lots of package stores,” says Joe Nabhan a Geographic Information System analyst for Bibb County.
Nabhan says they built the map using a county system that tracks information like alcohol permits.
“If you were to enter a street address right here in this find address or place location, it will take you right there. You'll be able to say zoom in or zoom our slightly, and you'll immediately see any alcohol locations in the vicinity,” says Nabhan.
Nabhan says they are still working on certain features, but he says their goal is to put the map on the county website, a feature Lucas says could be useful to everybody in the county.
“We want that information available and parents can then go on a site and see what’s located around their child’s school. What are the negative influences, potential negative influences?” says Lucas.
It's a feature Foye says she would use.
“The children go to school there and the teenagers lie and go over there with their keys and buy stuff like that, but they don't need that,” says Foye.
Both Foye and Lucas say this is a step toward making the community safer.
Nabhan says they are also working on creating an online hub for people and developers to have access to all different kinds of county information. He says it would be similar to one they have in Los Angeles.