White County commissioners narrowly approve “no distance rules” resolution for beer sales

by | April 20, 2017 6:06 am

Last Updated: April 20, 2017 at 6:11 am

After rejecting the “no distance rules” resolution, on Jan. 23, 2017, and after months of discussions by the beer board, commissioners narrowly have approved a resolution to adopt the Tennessee alcohol distance requirements.

During the April 17, 2017 White County Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the main item on the agenda that has been debated and discussed heavily was a resolution to adopt the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s alcohol distance requirement laws and rules for county beer sales.

A previous resolution was adopted by White County establishing a designated distance rule for the sale of beer in the county. However, White County residents have since approved by a referendum to allow liquor by the drink and package liquor store sales.

The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission regulates wine, liquor and beer with an alcoholic content higher than 5 percent. The county only has the jurisdiction to regulate the sale of beer. The state does not allow distance restrictions on the sale of liquor and wine. However, White County does have a distance restriction for the sale of beer.

Businesses are able to obtain a license from the state to sell liquor and wine but in certain situations would be denied a beer permit from the county because of the self-imposed distance restrictions.

The purpose of the newest resolution is to standardize the requirements on all alcohol sales in the county.

Ultimately, a motion was made to approve the resolution to adopt the state’s “no distance rules,” which narrowly passed by a vote of seven commissioners voting “for” and six voting “against.”

Another item on the agenda that will have an impact in White County, especially commuters on Roberts-Matthews Highway, was the approval of a resolution to replace and widen by 5 feet the bridge going over Falling Water River.

Commissioners in Steering Committee A, on April 10, voted to bring before the full court resolutions for White County to enter into an agreement with the City of Cookeville and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to replace the bridge over Falling Water River. The full commission approved the resolution unanimously.

A routine inspection was conducted by TDOT, which determined the bridge to be in poor condition. The bridge was originally constructed in 1936 and has an average daily traffic count of 2,750 vehicles.

The bridge is jointly owned by the City of Cookeville and White County. It is estimated that it will cost $2,691,000 to replace the bridge and is expected the project will be completed by 2020. The county will cover the cost of the project, with funding from the federal government, as well as funding from the state dedicated to White County for bridge projects.

Other items addressed by the commission on the agenda included:

-A resolution was approved to apply for a litter grant

-Appointing Gary McBride and Marshall LaFever to the County Board of Equalization

-Appointing Brandon Hillis and Vanessa O’Neal to the White County Planning Commission

-A presentation of an award from the Upper Cumberland Development District for the White County High School Career Academy

-Resolutions to amend various budgets

The White County Board of Commissioners will hold its next monthly meeting at 6 pm., May 15, 2017, in the third floor courtroom, at the courthouse.

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