Today is Monday, August 21, 2017

Council nods beer permit change

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Previously, only by the drink sales were regulated. Establishments that sold beer by the drink had to be at least 450 feet from churches, but the method of measuring distance was not clear. Package beer sales were not regulated by distance.

Now the distance will be measured from the front door of the business to the front door of the school, church, day care or home, or the closest point of a playground or park.

In other business, citizen Lee Allen found out why there is no right turn on red at the intersection of Baddour Parkway and West Main Street.

Commissioner of Public Safety Billy Weeks explained that if right turn on red was allowed at that intersection, drivers on Carver Lane and in the parking lots for the two stores located near the intersection could not safely get out into traffic.

Another citizen, Derrick Dodson, also addressed the council saying that the Bible Park is “the Trojan Horse of land development” and that he had a copy of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings filed last week by Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, S.C., which he pointed out was financed by SafeHarbor Holdings, Inc, the same company that presented the letter of intent to the City of Lebanon for Bible Park USA.

He said that SafeHarbor was also largely financed by Armon Bar-Tur who was the primary backer for BPUSA which incorporated under his name.

He then proceeded to distribute to the entire council and the mayor two pages of “pornographic” pictures supposedly taken by Bar-Tur’s father 30 years ago for Penthouse magazine.

The fact that the elder Bar-Tur took the photos that were published in Penthouse magazine was mentioned when the Bible Park was first proposed last year in Rutherford County. The younger Bar-Tur has said that his father’s occupation as a photographer had no bearing on the Bible Park proposal.

The city council passed on first reading an ordinance to approve bids to extend sewer lines along Southside Park Drive and Tater Peeler Road, south of Maddox-Simpson Parkway.

The lowest bid is $399,241 from Conrad Construction Company of Lebanon. It was recommended by Utilities Engineer Chuck Boyett as the best as well as lowest bid.

Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Huddleston asked if there was any way to give preference to local contractors on bids.

City Attorney Andy Wright said that while there was some leeway in the process because of the words, “lowest and best bid,” he thought there would have to be more than location involved if the lowest price was rejected.

The council passed on second reading ordinances concerning several line item transfer requests with Ward 3 Councilor William Farmer voting no. Farmer also voted against the first reading of two other sets of line item transfers.

He said he could not approve these items, because he thought some of the expenditures in the transfers were inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.

The council unanimously approved an extension of a hiring freeze, but it passed a resolution allowing personnel to fill an administrative engineering secretary position by transferring an employee from public works, with both Farmer and Ward 1 Councilor Alex Buhler voting no.

The council passed on second reading an ordinance to annex and zone SP Specific Plan Use a 2.7 acre parcel on Quarry Loop Road. This is the first SP zone in the city.The owners, General Constructors, Inc., plan to use the property to store construction equipment for the business they own which is already located on adjacent property.

The councilors also passed on first reading an ordinance to rezone approximately 85 acres on South Posey Hill Road form B-4 Highway business to B-3 Restricted Business.

The council passed on second reading an ordinance to rezone less than an acre of land on Maple Hill Road from R-1 Low Density Residential to B-4 Highway Business. The property is currently owned by the Maple Hill church of Christ.

The council passed on second reading a Middle Tennessee Electric request to rezone almost 17 acres of their property on Maddox-Simpson Parkway from Agricultural to M-1 Industrial Subdivision.

Staff Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at

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