City Council Lifts Sprinkler Requirement For Clubs, Restaurants

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

City Council members on Tuesday lifted a requirement for sprinklers at clubs and restaurants that some operators, including former Mayor Jon Kinsey, said would put them out of business.

The council approved an amendment to an ordinance passed earlier when the fire chief and fire marshal at the time had pressed for the sprinkler requirement.

Travis McDonough, the mayor's chief of staff, said the current fire chief and fire marshal approve the change. He said since the original ordinance was passed that the national fire code no longer requires such sprinkler systems.

Mr. Kinsey, owner of the Chattanooga Choo Choo, said the requirement would cause the popular Track 29 club operated by his son, Adam Kinsey, at the Choo Choo's former ice skating rink to have to shut down.

He said, "There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our patrons," but he said other steps can be taken to insure that safety.

Mr. Kinsey said Track 29 is in a concrete and steel building.

He told the City Council, "We cannot afford to put in sprinklers. We are not going to do that. There are other ways to address safety."

Michael Alfano, owner of the Comedy Catch for 26 of the 28 years it has been operating near the Brainerd Tunnel, also said he could not come up with the $70,000 needed for the sprinkler system. There would be other expense with the water company, he said.

Lamar Partridge said his family cannot afford the $50,000 expense of adding a sprinkler system at Lamar's Restaurant and Lounge on MLK Boulevard. He said the firm has the oldest liquor license in the city.

The owner of Mocha Restaurant and Music Lounge told a similar story.  

  


Catoosa County Arrest Report For Dec. 2-8

Click  here  for the Catoosa County arrest report for Dec. 2-Dec. 8. (click for more)

Hymes Arrested In Drug Bust On Sequoia Drive

Police have arrested a 49-year-old Brainerd man after a drug bust. Rodney Dewayne Hymes faces drug, drug paraphernalia and firearm charges. Police said he has multiple felony convictions. Hymes said he is disabled and has no other form of employment. In the raid at 424 Sequoia Dr., police found 37 grams of crack cocaine, 230 grams of marijuana, $5,323 in cash, drug items ... (click for more)

Vehicle Emissions Testing Causes More Pollution Than It Prevents - And Response

While a noble cause to make sure vehicles are operating efficiently with the minimum amount of pollutants, a simple analysis makes it somewhat evident the VET program in Chattanooga causes more pollution that it prevents.  Though I don't know how many vehicles are tested on an annual basis, if you assume an average round trip of 10 miles to the nearest testing station (five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Senseless Divide

If I could change one thing about the schools in Chattanooga, my wish would be that everybody could become good friends. I’m talking about the private schools versus the public schools. The rancor is so bad we hardly ever play in sports anymore and what the loathsome TSSAA has done in recent years to the out-numbered private schools is sinful. My dream would be that there would ... (click for more)

Hixson's Courtney Jones Headed To Hiwassee

Courtney Jones is almost finished with one important segment of her life and she's not wasting any time getting on with the next part. Jones is currently a senior at Hixson High School, but she will graduate next week and heading to Madisonville where she will be playing volleyball at the college level for the Hiwassee Lady Tigers. Jones has been an integral part of Hixson's ... (click for more)

Walker Valley, Soddy Daisy Big Mat Winners

The Walker Valley Mustangs recorded pins in the first five matches and never looked back as they beat host Ooltewah in a prep wrestling match Thursday evening by a resounding 61-12 final. The match began at 120 pounds and James Jur put his team ahead with a first-period pin.  Cameron Dwyer, Ethan West, Dillon Clark and Zeth Haynie followed with pins and it never got any ... (click for more)