TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - The controversy and issues surrounding the future of North Beach Bar and Grill could be a problem others in Tybee Island will face over the next couple of years.
Five non-profit organizations lease other buildings from the city. Those leases expire soon.
In a small town like Tybee, everyone knows everyone. The mayor said they're not picking sides, just following the law.
Julia Pearce didn't care about the agenda. Her support was clear.
"We have lots of people who made lots of signs. We want to make sure you keep your signs because it's going to resurface," said Pearce.
The future of the North Beach Bar and Grill remains in limbo after the mayor scratched it off of council's agenda Wednesday night.
"We want to make sure that our staff and our attorneys have all the time to advise the council correctly and make sure we avoid litigation," said Tybee Mayor Jason Buelterman.
This may not be the last problem, though. The lease on the Tybee Lite Shrine Club and the lease on the art center both end in the coming years.
"Tybee is a small community. We support our local businesses. So this is difficult and it'll be difficult dealing with the non-profit issue," said Buelterman.
In total, the city owns six buildings in the city. Five of them are occupied by non-profits and the restaurant on the beach. The Shriners said they're not worried. Their lawyer handling the lease had no comment.
The new law signed by Governor Nathan Deal in 2013 requires the city to open up bidding on city-owned properties. The North Beach Bar and Grill is just the first lease to come up in that time period. The mayor insisted they're not dragging out the process.
"Making sure we've got all of our ducks in a row. There's no real reason to rush anything," said Buelterman.
A big group on the island has let their voice be heard. They want the council to vote "no."
"We're a community, and they have been here in this community for 25 years taking care of the residents. They're part of the fabric of the community," said Pearce.
It's a fabric that many out here hope isn't broken by a higher bid.
The executive directors at the other non-profits we called were unavailable. We have requested the exact end dates on all the leases.