County gets beer request by business
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
Feb 26, 2013 | 1779 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Property was at the heart of discussions by the Bradley County Commission Monday.

A business owner had requested that 4th District Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones push for a change to the regulations restricting sale of alcoholic beverages within 750 feet of a church or school.

Peak-Jones said she had received calls from a convenience store owner on Highway 64 who wanted the distance decreased so that he could sell beer.

“He is asking us to decrease or even do away with that (restriction) so that he can sell,” Peak-Jones said.

Commission Chairman Louie Alford said the topic had been discussed in the past. Originally, the requirement was 1,000 feet. About two years ago, the restriction was changed to 750 feet, according to resigning legislative assistant Amy Moore.

Kinser Road Church of God is located behind the store in question, according to 4th District Commissioner J. Adam Lowe.

“I would be opposed to (decreasing it). I would like to see it go back to being 1,000,” 6th District Commissioner Robert Rominger said.

Fifth District Commissioner Mel Griffith said he would not be opposed to decreasing the distance restriction.

Lowe said if a change is made the Commission should consider why the restriction was put in place to begin with.

First District Commissioner Ed Elkins suggested the Commission speak with the Bradley County attorney about changes which could be made without violating state law. Elkins said the last time the issue was discussed the beer board was a part of the conversation.

Alford asked Moore to find the information from the previous discussion.

Two abandoned properties with environmental issues were also discussed.

Environmental officer Joe Renner presented updated information on two properties for which he has not been able to find owners.

The properties are next to each other on Orr Road. One property, which has an old trailer on it, will be a part of the delinquent tax sale in July. On the second property, there is a nearly burned down house.

Renner reported to the Commission previously he has made multiple attempts to find owners or next-of-kin who could be held responsible for cleaning up the property.

The property with the house on it has been abandoned by its owners and by the company that held the mortgage.

Renner said the house property has not been delinquent on taxes until this year, and it would be about six years before it was a part of the delinquent tax sale.

Rough estimates for cleanup of the property have been given at $4,500 per lot.

Elkins requested the land be appraised before the Commission spends any money on cleanup.

“How much hazard is this to the community?” Elkins asked.

Renner said there was evidence of tin being taken from the site. The house, which had once been boarded up, locked and secured, is now open. Renner said there is a risk of the building collapsing on someone.

Renner said the trailer land had been appraised at $13,500 and is currently $1,081 behind in taxes.

The house in question cannot be used as a training burn for Bradley County Fire-Rescue, as was previously suggested, because it is too close to another house. Prisoners cannot be used to clean the property because it is still considered public property.

Rominger said he wanted to have a resolution placed on next week’s agenda to clean up the properties.

“Do you want to recommend how?” Alford asked.

Rominger said he wanted to see the project bid out and then work from there.

Peak-Jones said the Commission should wait on the trailer property since it does not pose an immediate safety threat.

"I would like to hear from the county attorney what our liability is, since we don't own the property," Elkins said.

Before anything is demolished on either site, the issue will go to court to have the judge approve moving forward with demolition.

Elkins said many times when a property is sold at a tax sale it does not bring the full property value.

He said adding the fee of cleanup to the property at the tax sale may make it even harder to sell.

The issue will be considered at the next voting session.

Also during the meeting:

- Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis introduced the Commission to the new county planner, Bentley Thomas.

- County engineer Sandra Knight requested her department be permitted to donate a rarely used large-scale plot printer to the engineering department at Bradley Central High School. Knight said the printer is used so infrequently the ink cartridges dry up before they are fully used.

She said if the need ever arises there is a large-scale plotter in the GIS department that can be used. Commissioners requested that a transfer of assets form be completed.