Thursday will be the second and final reading of the ordinance

Cookeville – Thursday night, the Cookeville City Council has an important decision to make.

Will an amendment to the city code banning alcohol on all municipal property (exceptions include special events inside the Cookeville Performing Arts Center and city-approved events at the Performance Pavilion) including Dogwood Park?

When the city council hears the second reading of an ordinance that looks to do just that, it will continue the conversation on the domino effect a ban may cause.

Will the ban stop drunken revelers from wandering into a family park where children play?

Perhaps.

Will it also stop local nonprofits from hosting many of the largest and most beloved events?

Yes, unless events like Wine on the Westside, Taste of The Town, and WCTE’s fundraiser Blues and Brews partner with a specific business to host and share their event.

“The Blues and Brews event in Dogwood Park has been successfully organized by WCTE for 10 years,” Avery Hutchins, President and CEO of WCTE PBS told the Upper Cumberland Business Journal. “This event has attracted numerous individuals to Cookeville from Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky for a destination weekend.”

Would it also stop extremists, in the form of nonprofits, on all sides from hosting events in a public park or on municipal streets?

Yes.

Currently, if any nonprofit meeting requirements want to hold an event on a municipal street or municipal property, the city must permit it.

“The concern is there is no way to control who can or can’t (hold an event),” said city planner James Mills.

That has yet to be a problem, according to the city. But the possibility is certainly there.

At its last meeting, the Council approved the measure on first read and agreed to take a holiday break to consider any adjustments to the measure. Tomorrow night, citizens will see if those adjustments address concerns on both sides.

Some call the measure a “full-blown prohibition ban on city streets.”

Others believe the move is in the best interest of everyone.

“Many of us think this is a good move,” a local West Side business owner told the UCBJ. “Because some permits can create confusion with lost parking and the impact on loyal customer support to our businesses. So, cutting down on that type of chaos would be good,”

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. this Thursday, Jan. 18. For more information on the city council, to view agendas and minutes or to acquire contact information, visit HERE. Council meetings are open to the public.

This is a continuing story. Check back for details.

Image by KamranAydinov on Freepik.

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Ron Moses is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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