BY DAVID FISHER
The Gleason Board of Mayor and Aldermen discussed setting parameters regarding beer consumption on the premises of local businesses, such as restaurants, during Monday night’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
As mentioned in prior meetings, the two main reasons for allowing restaurants to serve customers beer with their meals, centered on bringing new businesses to Gleason and increasing local sales tax revenue.
At the Board’s June meeting, Alderman Keith Radford said, “As all of you know, we are having a shortfall in our budgets.” To help generate new revenue, he proposed allowing the sale and consumption of beer on the premises of local establishments, and all the funds be earmarked for the city’s park program.
At that time, the city attorney stressed this is for beer sales only, and does not include hard liquor by the drink, which is an entirely different proposition altogether.
Mayor Anderson previously stated small towns, like Gleason, struggle with their budgets. He pointed out that local citizens go out-of-town to purchase what they can’t get locally. “Therefore, we support the budgets of other towns.” Mayor Anderson said. “We just feel like this would be an invitation for restaurants to come here, if they knew that was available.”
Although board members stated they were not yet ready to approve an ordinance allowing the consumption of beer on the premises of local businesses at that time, they did vote to authorize a study regarding the issue, so they would have better information before making a decision.
Monday night, Pemberton said, “Your ordinance already provides for the Board to issue an onsite beer consumption permit. My recommendation to the board is to adopt language that will allow the board to set whatever conditions it feels are necessary for an on-premises beer consumption permit. If you want to be more restrictive, you could require a certain amount of sales at an establishment that sells beer onsite must be for food, or if you want to incorporate Tennessee Code Title 57 language, by reference, those would be the only changes I’d recommend making.”
Pemberton agreed to draft changes to the ordinance, if the board wishes for him to do so, and present it for discussion at next month’s board meeting. He stated this would give the board the ability to issue an on-premises beer permit if a local business requests it.
Building Code Enforcement
Pemberton gave the board an update concerning building code enforcement and the sale of condemned property. He stated four properties on the condemnation list are either being torn down or will be demolished soon.
He mentioned that a local citizen purchased some of these properties and is making progress removing dilapidated structures.
According to Pemberton, property at 114 Vincent Street has been purchased by a local resident and will be demolished. A house at 303 Phelps Street, which was ordered to be repaired or demolished, is in the process of being torn down. Additionally, condemnation proceedings are moving forward on properties located at 500 College Street and on East Union Street.
Mayor Anderson stated a quick coupler for the City’s mini excavator, costing $5,331, has been purchased for the Public Works Department. He noted the implement should be delivered in approximately 30 days.
“That’s a time-saver in changing buckets on the excavator,” the mayor said.
Weakley County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Barbra Virgin gave an update on chamber activities saying, “The chamber has been very busy. Every event we had was full and it’s been a productive year.” Ms. Virgin stated the Chamber and Weakley County Economic Development Board have merged. “As a result of that merger, we have a representative from each town,” she said. She noted the City of Gleason is represented on the Chamber Board by Police Chief Brian Legons.
Ms. Virgin reminded everyone Leadership Weakley County is coming up, and interested parties may simply go online, sign up and send in their applications. She noted admission to the program is available on a first-come-first-serve basis. She stated students selected by their guidance counselors may sign up for the Youth Leadership Program.
Mayor Anderson stated the Tater Town Special will be held August 29 through September 3, with the parade scheduled for Saturday, September 3. This year’s Trunk-or-Treat, celebrating Halloween, will take place in downtown Gleason on Saturday, October 29.