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Cookeville Council To Consider New Rules On Park, Downtown Alcohol Events

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Council To Consider New Rules On Park, Downtown Alcohol Events

Cookeville City Council will vote Thursday on prohibiting the public sale and consumption of alcohol at events not sponsored by the city or a non-profit.

City Manager James Mills said isolated incidents at several events have caused concern with the availability of alcohol.

Council Member Eric Walker said he has concerns about restricting growth in downtown Cookeville by stopping businesses from serving alcohol at outdoor events.

“Small businesses downtown who do serve are, in large part, the majority of them do include alcohol sales in their businesses,” Walker said. “So I think to eliminate the ability to expand on that, the ability to have those kinds of events in our city could hurt their businesses.”

City Council discussed the issue last summer after deciding that they could not manage barricading parks to denote where alcohol use was allowed. Mills said when the council discussed the issue last summer, they decided that they needed a resolution before January 1 to set expectations for the new year.

“They didn’t have Wine on the West Side this year and in addition, it’s been the growing… it’s not as mild and meek as it was when it originally started,” Mills said. “When they started getting hard liquor, we started to have to have police over there, and we had to arrest a few people.”

Walker said the ordinance moves the city backward. He said he does not like the idea of making it harder for businesses to set up events for the community when they could be making it easier.

“I understand that we have an issue in the park, but we’re letting that spill over into our downtown areas and our streets and prevent organizations, non-profits, and potentially business owners in the future of moving toward a more open atmosphere in our downtown area,” Walker said.

Mills said if the city has to draft an ordinance in the future that adjusts restrictions for events in the street, they can do that, but the events in the park are extremely difficult to manage and this is a feasible solution.

Thursday’s vote would amend the city’s municipal code.


The post Cookeville Council To Consider New Rules On Park, Downtown Alcohol Events appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.