X-Mart battle rages on

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, May 16, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---X-Mart has been out of commission for years now as the Augusta commission wages a costly battle at your expense. "We don't want it in our town. It was our fore-fathers...the previous commissioners that allowed them to be there," said commissioner Joe Jackson.

Even still X-Mart owners are looking to get back to business. They recently applied for a new license. "There's got to be a place in our community for them, but it don't necessarily have to be in one of our gateways," said commissioner Jerry Brigham.

Gateways are the main issue. The store sits along Gordon Highway in direct line with visitors traveling from the airport. "Cause it's like everything...sex sells and makes plenty of money for em," said Brigham.

This is fueling some commissioner's drive as the city continues to lose legal traction. The court of appeals recently declared Augusta zoning rules could not keep the shop from operating.

"It's a double-edge sword. They do have a legal right under the constitution of the United States, but we can still fight it," said Jackson.

The five year battle has all lead to $50,000 dollars in legal fees so far. "Yeah, but we could probably lose a lot more if we continue to fight it," said commissioner Corey Johnson.

The adult store has threatened to sue the city for years of lost revenue if an agreement isn't reached soon. "Well I say let the attorneys be creative that's what they get paid for," said Jackson. "We have other things we need to deal with and this is not something that we need to spend the taxpayers money on year after year after year," said Johnson.

Store representatives are set to go before the commission in June.

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