Brookside Mart will continue to operate, at least another two weeks, as the Goldsboro City Council considers whether to allow the business to stay open on South Slocumb Street.
The council, during its Tuesday meeting, decided to defer its decision on a conditional-use permit until the next council meeting on Jan. 17.
Owner Ismail Qandeel is seeking a conditional-use permit so he can move the market from its current site, at 2000 S. Slocumb St., to the former Bob's Supermarket, at 1717 S. Slocumb St.
Qandeel, who attended the council meeting, spoke during the public comment period and asked, once again, that he be allowed to operate in the city.
"I work with the community, and I work to do how much I could to service all people," he said. "I need your help. I have worked with everybody."
Brookside Mart, slated for demolition and condemned by the city, is still open. City inspectors, which determined the building is structurally unsound, have been trying to help Qandeel find another location. The owner says it's the only small grocery store serving area residents, most who lack transportation.
City police have targeted the business as a nuisance due to reported area shootings, thefts and illegal drug and alcohol sales.
The council decided to hold off on a conditional-use permit decision during its evening work session, prior to the regular council meeting.
"We're trying to figure out what is the right thing to do and is he really doing the neighborhood any good?" Mayor Chuck Allen said, after the work session. "We don't want to move the problem two blocks down the street."
Allen said, due to the holidays, members of the council needed more time to talk about the future of the business. Discussions will likely take place between members of the council, prior to a public meeting, he said.
Allen told city staff that Qandeel should be told he's taking a risk by moving merchandise into the former supermarket, before the permit is approved. A conditional-use permit, which involves meeting city parking and site requirements, is needed before the store can officially open.
"I want someone to let him know he's moving things at his own risk," Allen said.
Efforts are being made to provide transportation to area residents needing to travel to grocery stores, said Shycole Simpson Carter, Goldsboro community relations director.
The Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority is considering adding evening bus route hours, until 9 p.m., that would offer trips to stores, including Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion and Walmart, Simpson Carter said. GWTA's handicapped-accessible van may also operate during the extended evening hours.
During the regular meeting, the council approved a conditional-use permit allowing the former Longhorn Business Center, at 1716 U.S. 117 South, to reopen as an internet sweepstakes gaming business.
The hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. The gaming business, which is located between Arrington Bridge Road and S. George St., was shut down in February by law enforcement due to noncompliance with state law. The owner is seeking to reopen after updating computer software that complies with the law.
"We've been advised that you can't legally deny it," Allen said.
The permit is the second in recent months, with Goldsboro Internet World, at 1813 N. Berkeley Blvd., near New Hope Road, receiving a permit to reopen in early December.
Two more internet sweepstake business permit requests will be considered by council during the next couple months.
City officials have been advised by the city attorney that the permits can be approved, based on conformity to local zoning rules.
The city's unified development ordinance allows internet sweepstake businesses in general business districts, shopping centers, highway business and general industry districts, with hours limited to 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. The businesses are prohibited from locating within 200 feet of a school, church or residence.
Also during the meeting, the council:
* Rezoned at 1.82-acre site, at 1301 Wayne Memorial Drive, from neighborhood business to a general business conditional district. An Advance Auto Parts store will be added to the property.
* Rezoned a 4-acre site on Gateway Drive from an industrial and business park zone to a general business conditional district, allowing for an expanded parking lot and vehicle sales by the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram dealership.
* Approved site and landscape plans for an 0.64-acre site, on the east side of N. William St., between Raynor and Brogden streets. The former Alexis Transportation Services building will be renovated into a retail auto parts and supply store.
* Setting a Jan. 17 public hearing for an Ample Storage Goldsboro annexation request for property along Tenth Place.
* Approved a contract with Bell's Tree Service for the removal of damaged trees and stumps throughout the city, with costs dependent on the size of the removals.
* Deferred a decision on 60-month lease agreement with the Yamaha Motor Finance Corp. for 58 new golf carts, at a $48.95 cost per month per vehicle, for the Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course.
* Approved a co-location lease agreement with T-Mobile South allowing the company to add a communication antenna to the top of the city's water tank at Madison Avenue and Holly Street. T-Mobile will pay the city $26,400 annually, with a base fee increase of 3 percent each year.
The council went into closed session to discuss potential litigation but took no action.