The East Ridge Police Department has not one but two chaplains now.
Mayor Brian Williams swore in Danny Lance and Daniel Beard to their positions, Thursday at the East Ridge City Council meeting.
“I want to thank you both for serving the community,” Mayor Williams said. “Thank you for all you do in supporting our officers.”
ERPD Lt. Clint Uselton told the council prior to the pastors being named to their posts that the purpose of the chaplain is to “take care of our officers spiritually and emotionally.” Uselton said that both men are members of the International Association of Police Chaplains.
The council passed on second and final reading an ordinance that would rezone a tract of land at 529 Frawley Rd. from agricultural to RT-1 to allow for the development of townhouses. The vote was unanimous.
The council approved on second reading an amendment to the city’s beer ordinance. The amendment paves the way for restaurants to sell beer outside on patios, and would permit “micro breweries” to make beer in the city. It would also permit the sale of what’s commonly known as “growlers” in local businesses.
Councilman Jacky Cagle, a longtime opponent of any progressive reforms as it pertains to innovative beer sales, voiced concern over a retailer’s ability to control and monitor the self-service beer sales.
In addition, Cagle said that “high gravity” beer, that is beer with an alcohol content above eight percent, could create a potential for over-imbibing. City Manager Chris Dorsey told Cagle and the council that the legal definition of “beer” by state statute dictates that “beer” may not exceed eight percent alcohol by volume.
Dorsey said that he researched Chattanooga’s regulations on self-service sales and could find no regulations.
“We’ve put in place regulations to protect consumers and businesses,” he said.
The measure passed, 4-1, with Cagle being the lone dissenting vote.
The council passed on first reading an amendment to an ordinance that would tax “bed & breakfasts” and short-term vacation rentals just as the city taxes hotels. City Attorney Mark Litchford said the city is already following that policy. He said a recent opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General that bed & breakfasts fall under the statutory definition of “hotel” in state law.
The council passed unanimously on first reading an amendment to zoning laws that deal with “set back” distances. Currently all buildings must be 25 feet from a road. The amendment would allow for a five-foot setback, allowing new development in the commercial corridor to be more pedestrian friendly.
The council appointed Ann Waterhouse to fill a vacancy on the city’s Library Board.
_ Mayor Williams noted some upcoming events in the city and encouraged residents to participate. A “Cruise-In” will be held on Saturday at Corner Cafe as a fundraiser for the East Ridge Community Food Pantry. Jones Memorial will hold its 44th Annual Barbecue on September 21. Proceeds to to buy coats for less fortunate kids in the city.