While the future of the Dawsonville Pool Room remains uncertain, a small group of determined and persistent citizens has banded together to save the historic restaurant.
Negotiations between Pool Room owner Gordon Pirkle and the Georgia Department of Revenue have continued since the initial seizure of the business on May 6.
Its just doing all of the paperwork now, said Hayley Garrett, Pirkles daughter.
Pirkle hopes to have together this week all of the information requested by the DOR so that negotiations can continue to move forward, Garrett said.
The DOR said that each individual case is different. There is no specific time frame (in the negotiation process), said Jud Seymour, communications director for the DOR. All cases are handled individually, and the time frame is specific to the individual case.
As a result, Garrett said, representatives for the Pool Room are taking their time to ensure all paperwork is done correctly.
Were not going to hurry, she said. We want to make sure that everything is all right, everything is settled out, and when were through ... its set to zero, so we dont have to worry about going through this again.
Pirkle said he hopes the final amount owed can be managed through monthly payments to the state. According to both Pirkle and Garrett, the final amount has yet to be determined by either party.
Once a final number is reached, Seymour said, an Offer in Compromise (OIC) would be filed by the taxpayer. An OIC is an agreement between the taxpayer and the government that settles a tax liability for payment of less than the full amount owed, according to the DORs website.
Once that is filed, he said, a taxpayer has 30 days to file the proper paperwork and get into an acceptable payment plan. If they do not comply with this, the OIC is denied.
In the meantime, community members are pulling together to do their part in what they see as preserving a piece of Dawson County and state history.
Everybody wants to keep the historic Dawsonville Pool Room going, said Robin Smith, who is helping to coordinate the fundraising efforts. We look at it as a historic landmark. A lot of people come to Dawsonville just to come to the Pool Room, so we feel it is very important to get that piece of history back.
To do this, the group has scheduled three events to take place back-to-back in July.
A pageant is planned for July 14, with a concert following on July 15. A car show has been planned for the following weekend, on July 21. Times and venues are still being confirmed.
For those who have been missing the familiar Bully Burger and other items on the Pool Room menu, theres an added incentive to attend the July 15 concert. Checkered Flag will be our food venue at the concert, so everybody whos wanting their Bully Burger fix can attend the concert and get their burger, Smith said.
Im overwhelmed and blessed, Pirkle said of the fundraising efforts. Garrett referred to it as seeing your roses before you die. Both Pirkle and Garrett have big plans for when the Pool Room is re-opened, with Pirkle expressing a cautious wish to have it opened by October.
I think (the community) should know that the Pool Room will be back, Smith said. But, even when it is back, not everything will be finalized as far as clearing everything. Just because the Pool Room finally says its open, doesnt mean were all done. Well still have to continue fundraising.
Anyone interested in getting involved with the various fundraising efforts may contact Robin Smith at 678-617-3307, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next meeting is June 26 at 7 p.m. The location was still being determined as of presstime.