|Loudon expands beer sales
Loudon City Council voted unanimously Monday to make changes related to the sale of beer.
Some council members hope the changes in the municipal code will increase the frequency and attendance of local events. Beer sales for city-sanctioned or sponsored events will continue to be limited to the Tate & Lyle Performing Arts Center.
“We were going to change that to have softball and decided while we were at it, we would change it one time and be done with it,” Dennis Stewart, city councilman, said.
The sale of beer will now open to all city-sanctioned or sponsored events, but is still limited to “an enclosed and/or fenced area with designated ingress/egress points.”
Other changes include the expansion of what restaurants are allowed to sell, changing the requirement of food sales from twice a day to five days a week and raising the limit on alcohol content allowed to be sold from 5 percent to 8 percent by weight.
Stewart is hopeful the changes will have a positive impact on events and the eventual revitalization of the waterfront property in Loudon.
“I think we have a vision, since we took that waterfront back, of having an area down there where we could have stuff,” Stewart said.
James “Bear” Webb, Loudon police chief, did not object to the changes as long as the wording was clear and all requests passed through the beer board’s review. He did not anticipate the changes creating increased problems for the department.
Ty Ross, city manager, reinforced to council that all beer sales, even those for special events sponsored or sanctioned by the city, would still require a permit from the beer board.
A hearing for the ordinance will be held prior to the December council meeting.
The city also passed a resolution Monday authorizing the ninth round of grant applications for the city’s Courthouse Square Revitalization Act.
Beginning Dec. 1, business owners can apply for a portion of a $114,064 funding pool until the money is exhausted.
Funding consideration will be given on a first-come, first-served, case-by-case basis. Preference was previously given to the Loudon Merchants and Property Owners Association.
“Now it’s treating everybody equal like it ought to be,” Stewart said.
Applicants must be located within the courthouse square district and can pick up an application packet and further instruction at the city manager’s office.
Representatives for the Dunbar School were in attendance to question whether the boundary for the courthouse square could be redrawn to include the school.
Ross said changing the boundary would be problematic, but encouraged school representatives to form a plan and apply for funding once authority over the funding shifts back to city council.
“I believe if you can stack hands or come to an agreement that some of the uses will be public in nature, in other words won’t be a private facility but will have some public uses, that we can consider future funding for the facility,” Ross said.
In other business, council members:
• Approved on second reading an ordinance to rezone a 156-acre parcel on Elizabeth Lee Parkway from C-2 Highway Business District to M-1 Light Industrial District.
• Approved on first reading an amendment to the 2017-18 budget to allow for the surplus and trade-in of a 2003 Cadillac Escalade police vehicle with 133,000 miles toward purchase of a 2018 Ford Explorer, with the remaining balance of $27,661 coming from the drug fund.
• Approved on first reading an ordinance to abandon a portion of unopened right-of-way between Mulberry and Cedar streets.
• Approved on first reading an ordinance to accept a 330-foot by 22-foot width of unopened right-of-way to be accepted as a public street and named Ray Lovin Drive.
• Authorized the surplus and sale of a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban police vehicle.
• Amended the fee structure for Loudon Municipal Park. The fee is now $700 for up to two days and $50 for each additional day with a $500 damage deposit. Charitable functions must now provide proof of donation to a charitable organization for refund of rental costs and a maximum of three similar events are allowed per calendar year.