June 9, 2005

Liquor Licenses Lead Agenda At June City Council Meeting

Despite a letter from a local pastor asking aldermen to reconsider, the Memphis City Council finalized a new ordinance that will allow limited liquor licenses to be offered on the city square.

At the June 2 council meeting, Mayor Mike Stone read a letter from Dan Hite, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Memphis, which opposed the new ordinance. But after a lengthy discussion, the council voted 3-1 to implement ordinance 600.050 allowing a liquor license to be issued to any establishment within 500 hundred feet of the Scotland County Courthouse, which derives less than 20 percent of its gross revenue from liquor sales.

The new law also gives the city council the power to offer temporary permits or tasting permits for special events held on the square.

The council also approved the renewal of liquor licenses for The Party Shack and Pamida to sell package liquors, Pizza Hut to sell malt liquor by the drink, Gas & More and Casey’s General Store to sell malt liquors, and Shelly B’s to sell liquor by the drink.

Citizen Participation

Carol Garrett informed the council of ongoing difficulties for the Clothes Closet. Garrett stated the facility was providing needed clothing to community members but was unlikely to be able to remain open this winter because of a lack of funding and ongoing heating issues. Garrett asked the council to consider financial support for the volunteer organization, which distributes donated clothing to the needy.

The council expressed a desire to keep the facility open and asked Garrett to return for the July meeting to continue discussing options.

Samantha Brush requested the council expand the holiday deadlines for fireworks sales and use through July 10th to correspond with the state regulations. The council voted 4-0 to extend the deadline.

Dan Niemeyer of the USDA Rural Economic and Community Development office presented a proclamation declaring June National Home Ownership Month in the City of Memphis. The proclamation was signed by Mayor Stone.

Public Hearings

Four properties were scheduled for public hearings prior to the June council meeting. The police department reported that weeds and tall grass had been mowed at 314 N. Market, 123 W. Madison and 123 S. Cecil. The property at 316 N. Cecil was the lone property that had not yet been mowed after receiving the hearing notice. The council voted 4-0 to proceed with having the property mowed and assessing the costs on the property owner’s taxes.

Department Reports

Superintendent Dave Kittle informed the aldermen that the light department would begin work on replacing the light poles on the city square. The crews will be working mostly in the evening hours to avoid traffic during normal business hours.

The water department will begin a sewer line project on Sigler Street. Superintendent Dennis Howard also reported that Nutri-ject is scheduled to clean the waste water pond at the water plant this month.

Aldermen Reports

Alderman Teresa Skinner presented four building permits for approval. The council voted 4-0 to approve a building at the corner of Missouri and North Main Street for Kenneth Henderson; an awning for Larry Riney in the 200 block of S. Main; a room addition for Tom Deberry at 333 Green Street; and a patio for Leon Orton at 353 Green Street.

Alderman Ron Gardner reported an incident regarding an animal bite. He asked the public be reminded of the city’s animal control ordinances that prohibits any animal from running at large, damaging property, intimidating pedestrians, chasing vehicles, making excessive noise or attacking other animals. The ordinance requires all dogs to be licensed with the city. The annual license costs $3 and runs from July 1st to June 30th.

Alderman Lucas Remley told council members the fire department is pursuing the creation of a memorial garden at the northwest corner of the fire station.

Alderman William Reckenberg inquired about progress on repairing the city’s fire hydrants. Howard stated the water department is in the process of identifying the trouble hydrants and replacing them. Reckenberg also volunteered to help the city construct new street barricades to be used for closing streets for special events. He will seek cost estimates for the July meeting.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Stone read a letter of resignation from Emergency Management Director Teresa Lee. The council will fill the position at the July meeting.

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