The final step of bringing a Cracker Barrel to Aiken will be take place today during the last City Council meeting of the year. The second reading and a public hearing regarding the annexation of property on the southeastern corner of Whiskey and Oak Grove roads and the approval of a concept plan for the country store and restaurant will be conducted by City Council. The developers agreement will also be voted on by Council members. The concept plan of the prospective Cracker Barrel includes a building totaling 8,960 square feet in size - 5,770 square feet for the restaurant and 3,190 square feet for the gift shop. The restaurant will have around 177 seats available. The building will be a one-story structure with a large porch. The concept plan also calls for river birch trees, a tree not on the City's approved tree list, to be planted at the front corners of the building. One obstacle was a billboard that is located on the property. Because billboards are not allowed in City limits, it will be removed if the property is annexed in, according to the developer's agreement. If all is approved, Cracker Barrel plans to begin construction in the spring. Work on the new business will take approximately six months. At the last meeting, the first reading was approved by City Council with a unanimous vote, but several Council members and the mayor expressed concern with traffic issues the new restaurant may cause on the already-congested Whiskey Road. As for the Powderhouse Connector, City Manager Roger LeDuc said that, regardless of whether Cracker Barrel is approved, the City is moving on with the new road. The first phase of the connector is required to be finished, according to the Cracker Barrel developer's agreement. LeDuc said that the City has already hired an engineer to work on the plans for the new connector. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. today in Council Chambers on the second floor of the Aiken City Municipal Building located at 214 Park Ave. S.W. Contact Amy Banton at abanton@aikenstandard.com.