By Mike Steely
The on premise sale of beer near churches will get a second and final reading in the City Council’s Tuesday meeting. The controversial change in the local ordinance would remove all distance requirements between the beer retailers and houses of worship but would keep the 300 foot distance required between those businesses and schools, funeral homes, day-cares, etc.
The first reading of the change, although sponsored by a group of 15 local churches, drew opposition from other churches and ministers. Members of the Oakwood and Antioch Baptist Church spoke against the change two weeks ago. The 5-4 vote on the council may indicate a divided decision on the matter.
A separate beer permit item, amending Chapter 4 of the City Code, faces a first reading on a motion by Beer Board Chair Brenda Palmer as well as well as another amendment to the code dealing with the definitions of alcoholic beverages.
The council will also consider extending the lease agreement with Lincoln Memorial University for space in the old City Hall on West Summit Hill Drive.
Awards totaling just over $20,000 in grants to seven Knoxville neighborhood organizations is also on the agenda to support community building activities.
The Department of Engineering is asking to up the contract amount with McKinnon Construction Company for the Hill Avenue Viaduct Joint Repair Project by $ 56,682 and extending the date of completion.
The Department is also asking the council to extend a contract for curb cuts with Design Construction Services and add $29,947 for a total of $401,714.
The Fire Department is asking for $27,863 on a contract with TargetSolutions for online training and support.
An application for a grant of $604,094 from the Federal Transit Administration and the state for the Knoxville Area Transit for formula bus and bus facilities is on the agenda. If granted the city would kick in a match of $67,122. A separate grant request for $5.7 million from those agencies is also awaiting approval with a city match of $643,919.
Mayor Madeline Rogero is asking the council to approve the appointment of Randy Kurth to the Board of Environmental Appeals and Bryan Berry to the Public Property Naming Committee.