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.  

  


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALEXANDER, MELANIE SYDNEY 816 ASTERWOOD DRIVE ROSSVILLE, 30741 25 Chattanooga POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE - MARIJUANA BAXTER, TRAVIS MATTHEW 1330 GREENSLAKE ROAD EAST RIDGE, 37412 22 East Ridge AGGRAVATED DOMESTIC ASSAULT W/VEHICLE POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BELL, CHARLIE ... (click for more)

Deputy Beaten After Vehicle Crashes In His Yard Sues Officers

A man who was mistakenly beaten by officers who had been pursuing a pickup truck that crashed into his home has sued Hamilton County and the officers for $700,000. Aaron Lucas Shelton and his wife, Heather Nicole Shelton, filed the suit in Circuit Court. Aaron Shelton is himself a deputy sheriff. It names Curtis Brian Killingsworth and unknown officers who allegedly took part ... (click for more)

We Ought To Pay Our Own Way

The government is too big. It has never been bigger - by any measure. It spends more money than any other single actor in our society. From Blue Rhinos to providing telecommunications services, our government knows no bounds. We’ve gone from a free enterprise system to a public enterprise system.  I'm not an artist. I'm not terribly tech savvy. The part of government that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Secret Train Ride

It was during Christmas of 2003 when Bennett Levin and his wife found themselves talking and worrying about the wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda, Md., and at the nearby Bethesda Naval Hospital. Their wish was that they could do something meaningful, something really grand, for the soldiers who had lost limbs, their eyesight, and far worse. As ... (click for more)

Villavic, Henderson Win Scenic City Half-Marathon Titles

(Complete results will be posted later today for both races) It was just a little bit nippy at Finley Stadium for Saturday morning’s running of the Scenic City Half-Marathon and 5K, but it was probably just about perfect for those who decided to compete. Cristian Villavic, a 42-year-old professional runner from Nicaragua who is currently living in Manchester with his coach, ... (click for more)

Baylor Wrestlers Murphy, Seagraves in National Prep Semis

On the strength of placing two wrestlers in Saturday morning's championship semis, Baylor School is in 11th place (46 pts) at the National Prep Wrestling Championship held this weekend in Lehigh, Pa. Saturday Semis: Baylor junior and three-time state champ Michael Murphy has won three matches (two falls, one sudden death) and meets top seeded Matthew Colodzik (Blair Academy) ... (click for more)