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FBMA defers Liquor store amendment

Farragut Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III wasted no time in making a motion for deferment of a potentially controversial item during the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Thursday, Dec. 14.

Ford made a motion that the Board defer the application by Michael Harb of Southernpalm Inc., for an amendment to a town municipal code regulating the location of liquor store outlets.

“It’s restricted to have liquor stores in three geographic regions in the town,” Ruth Hawk, community development director, said prior to the meeting. “One is the Outlet Mall, another is Dixie Lee Junction and the other is the Campbell Station Road area. There are currently stores in two of those areas. The request is to consider other locations.”

Ford made the motion, saying town attorney Tom Hale should examine the request and its ramifications for the town.

“I’m not sure we’ve had an issue since the original actions, which resulted in the two liquor stores being in the town that are now here,” Hale said. “There is quite a bit of law on the subject and it’s not absolutely clear. I really think before this body takes it up, it’s appropriate for you to be schooled in the standards which you would operate under.”

In other business, FBMA members approved a change in the calendar for the upcoming elections.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have a crystal clear calendar when we set the date,” said Dan Olson, town administrator. “A couple of weeks ago, we were advised April third is Passover.”

Olson said in order to avoid religious and other schedule conflicts, he recommended the FBMA approve the change of the election date from April 3 to April 10. The Board unanimously passed the motion.

Olson said Knox County Election Commission officials had been suitably notified of the date change and other schedule changes to remain in compliance with state law.

The election calendar for the Ward I and Ward II aldermen race dates are as follows:

• Jan. 10 — first day to request absentee ballot.

• Jan. 18 — Noon qualifying deadline.

• Jan. 25 — Noon withdrawal deadline.

• March 21 — Early voting starts.

• April 5 — Early voting ends.

In unrelated matters, Board members approved an 120-day extension for Rich Construction on the Smith Road sidewalk project in spite of staff recommendations of a 45-day extension.

Town engineer Darryl Smith said part of the conflict was due in part to the delay in relocation of an eight-inch water main on Smith Road by First Utility District.

Angel Johnson, field manager for Rich Construction, presented information to the FBMA regarding numerous attempts her company made with FUD to get work to progress.

Ford said the town had numerous dealings with Rich Construction in the past and, given the evidence of numerous contact attempts upcoming winter weather, suggested the Board approve the 120 day request.


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