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Committee For Public Alcohol Sales Nearing Decision

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Committee For Public Alcohol Sales Nearing Decision

Cookeville’s committee dedicated to finding an appropriate avenue for alcohol sales and consumption on public property is nearing a proposed ordinance.

Committee Member and Soul Craft Coffee Owner Anna Dunn said the committee has met weekly over the past several months. She said the next step will be a community meeting where the committee will share its ideas with the public before making a recommendation to council. She said the committee aims to limit public events with alcohol to nonprofits or businesses partnering with nonprofits.

“You have all different kinds of people doing different things on the West Side,” Dunn said. “But I think we’ve put together a plan that allows everybody to work together and continue to have events, and do it in a way that’s legal.”

Dunn said the committee has met with the Cookeville Downtown Development Group to hear how different versions of an ordinance would affect businesses. Dunn said businesses hoping to hold an event like this would need to fulfill a list of requirements, but she believes they will be better protected in holding such events with the new ordinance.

“In the past street closures, we haven’t really been protected,” Dunn said. “So, offering up a solution that was also kind of on the forefront of our mind to really accommodate everyone the best we can. I’m certain our proposal is not perfect, but we did, I feel like, we have done the best job we could have.”

She said helping the city to navigate this issue has been more challenging than she had anticipated, but she has greatly appreciated the opportunity, as a business owner, to learn the city’s goals and intentions for what these events might look like going forward.

“That’s really important, as a whole, to our committee, so make this not just about alcohol in the streets and just a potential crazy time,” Dunn said. “You know, we really, we thought a lot about, how does this look to our committee and to maybe even those who aren’t really okay with alcohol on public streets. And so, we really, we tried to think of every angle.”

Dunn said after hearing from downtown Cookeville’s many different perspectives, she believes a final plan will be presented to council soon for adjustments and eventual approval.


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