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Change to city ordinance would allow beer sales at events

Oddstory is one of the craft breweries that Cycle Sequatchie lists as supplying their event in October. Image from Oddstory Facebook page.

Aug. 14, 2019 – A proposed change to the city's beer ordinance tops the agenda for the Aug. 15 meeting of the Dunlap City Commission.

Ordinance #271 is an “Ordinance re-establishing Beer Board and permitting requirements.”

The stated purpose is to update the old ordinance. It comes in response to a request to sell beer at an upcoming bicycling event in Dunlap.

Cycle Sequatchie” is scheduled for Oct. 5 as a cycling event encompassing the entire Sequatchie Valley, but it will be based at the Valley Fest property in Dunlap.

Event organizers posted information on their website months ago that encouraged cyclists to “unwind after the ride with craft beer from local brewers Hutton & Smith, Heaven & Ale and Oddstory, along with custom beer from the Brew Market & Beer Garden brewed just for our event! Beer is available for anyone 21 or older. Ride registrants get their first beer for free. Non-registrants can pay in person.”

However, City Recorder Norman Hatfield told commissioners at a May 30 meeting the current beer ordinance in Dunlap does not allow for sale of alcohol at outdoor events. Commissioners then discussed changing the ordinance.

Mayor Dwain Land and the other commissioners stated their opinion that the ordinance was out of step with the times and needed updating.

Commissioner Bryan Harmon objected to changing the law “for this one event.”

He also expressed reservations about “opening a Pandora's box.”

I hate to see events here in town turn into alcoholic events,” Comm. Bryan Harmon said. “We have a lot of family-oriented events.”

When the commission voted on setting up a new Beer Board to write a new ordinance, Comm. Bryan Harmon voted no, while the mayor and other commissioners voted yes.

Also to be discussed at tomorrow's meeting is a tax abatement proposal for Mann + Hummel that will allow addition of a new line at the factory, and with it, new jobs.

The Dunlap City Commission meets the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. CDT in the upstairs Commission Chambers at City Hall, on Rankin Avenue in Dunlap. Meetings are open to the public.