The East Ridge City Council on Thursday night approved changes to the city’s beer code that are aimed at making it more business friendly for restaurants and bars that might be interested in locating there. City Manager Chris Dorsey said with all the new development occurring in East Ridge he revised requirements for three existing types of beer permits and added two new types. The city’s beer code regulates the sale of beer. Spirits and wine are regulated by the state.
A Class One/On-Premise permit is for restaurants with 50 percent or more of gross sales in food. Changes to this type of permit include allowing an outdoor serving area which must be adjacent to the restaurant and partitioned off from the surrounding exterior space. Live or recorded music and other entertainment shall not be audible off the premises to the unaided ear. Entertainment media will not be allowed between midnight and 7 a.m.
A Class Two/On-Premise permit is for a business with food sales less than 50 percent of gross sales, such as a bar. There currently are just two of these in East Ridge, a movie theater and the Hampton Inn.
A Class Three/Off-Premise Permit applies to businesses such as convenience stores or grocers.
Manufacturer/Retailer Permit was added. This would allow brewing and selling beer. Growlers to take out, could be sold at this type of business. This permit would apply to a business such as a micro-brewery.
A Retailer’s Self-Service Permit was also added. This permit establishes the rules for a new concept in alcohol sales. No such business is now located in East Ridge. Beer taps are on the walls and are monitored by employees who are trained in alcohol sales. Security officers would be present to ensure there are no underage sales or over indulging. There must be menus available, but these can be from restaurants that deliver.
Ducks Unlimited is having a banquet at Camp Jordan Arena on Oct. 24 for a second year. A Temporary Special Events Permit was approved for the event.
At the end of July, the city had just one garbage truck in use out of five, due to a variety of problems. Assistant City Manager Kenny Custer said now there are two of the “one armed" automatic garbage trucks on the streets. Two rear loaders are being used, and approval was given to buy a new garbage truck, earlier this week. Garbage collection is now pretty much caught up, he said, while giving credit to and appreciation for the sanitation department.
The council accepted a bid from Ford of Dalton for the purchase of four police pursuit SUVs for the cost of $133,580, not including police equipment. Bids will go out for this equipment that will be added and it will be paid for from the drug fund.
The bid from Life Touch Sports Photography was approved for the 2019-2020 sports season. This company will return 25 percent of gross sales to the city.
On second and final reading, an ordinance passed to amend rezoning property at 529 Frawley Road from A-1 Agricultural District and R-1 Residential District to RT-1 Residential Townhouse District.
Appointments were made for members of the East Ridge Housing Commission. They are Jeff Ezell, Calandra Stevens, Kenny Rogers, Jim Winters and Earl Wilson. Their terms will be staggered. Casey Tuggle was reappointed to the Planning Commission for a three-year term.
Council member Andrea Witt is in charge of the city’s efforts to educate people of the importance of completing the 2020 census forms. The “Complete Count Committee” will encourage all residents in East Ridge to fill out the forms. It is important to East Ridge because the number of people counted can affect federal funding, transportation needs, planning programs, and facilities for the elderly or for children. So far there has been a lot of participation from the residents in East Ridge, said Councilwoman Witt.
Special events to raise money for underprivileged children will be taking place in East Ridge. On Sept. 21, the Jones Memorial Methodist Church will have its annual BBQ to raise funds to buy coats for children who otherwise would go without. Kids are measured and given a coat sometime before Christmas. Last year 150 coats were given. The city will participate by buying $300 worth of tickets and allowing flyers to be posted around the city as well as using the electronic sign to bring attention to the event.
Robert Jones, a professional magician, will be putting on Stars for Magic at the South Seminole Baptist Church on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 5 p.m. He said it would be a “grand illusion and comedy show.” Proceeds will benefit the Needy Child Fund and the youth department of the church.
Pioneer Fest will be held by East Ridge Needy Child Fund and will take place on Sept. 7. It is advertised as a fun-filled family day. There will be food games and craft vendors. The council approved waiving the fee for use of the amphitheater so that all the proceeds will go to help underprivileged children and families.
A cruise-in will take place at Camp Jordan on Sept. 14. This event is a fundraiser for the food pantry.