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Building Inspector, package store moving forward

Jill Penley
Freelance Writer

After the liquor store referendum passed in Johnson County last November, the Town of Mountain City adopted an ordinance establishing specific regulations regarding the retail sale of liquor. The Town of Mountain City Board of Alderman then held a public Work Session in mid-August, during which the board unanimously approved two package store applications with the stipulation that they pass building inspections and are deemed “insurable.”
Locals began noticing renovation projects preparing to house the city’s first package stores. Robert Blackwell’s 2 Sisters will be located in the Pioneer Shopping Center while Tom and Becky Stanley have been working for months on renovating a building along South Shady Street known by locals as “the skating rink.”
Both projects stalled, however, when it was time for an Order of Compliance to be granted from the city, which is required before applying to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Before the town would grant said order, each respective building was needed to be inspected and passed for occupation, and unfortunately, the acting building inspector for the city was not state-certified.
The services of an out-of-town, state-licensed, inspector was utilized.
The package store certificate of compliance for 2 Sisters was signed by all city officials at the regular monthly meeting of the Town of Mountain City Board of Alderman on October 2, and has now been sent to Nashville for approval. “The one for Stanley on the old skating rink building is awaiting his compliance with whatever the building inspector from
Rogersville told him to do,” said City Attorney George Wright. “The Blackwells only had some cosmetic changes, and they have been approved.”
After a completed application for a retail store is received, the application must be placed on the agenda and approved by the TABC commission at a regular monthly commission meeting.
When contacted for comment, Tom Stanley remains optimistic. “We are still in the renovation process,” said Stanley, “and hope to complete the next few weeks.”
In other action, the board appointed Darrell Potter as the new building inspector. He has served in the position in the past, and while he isn’t currently state-certified, he should be able to get it in less than a year.
Mountain City Mayor requested a financial report for the operations of the swimming pool to be given to each board member to gather ideas on how to generate more income from the pool. “This past summer, the cost to operate it was over $17,000 in the red,” said Mayor Parsons, “and we cannot keep losing that kind of money on it.”
Representatives from the A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition addressed the board regarding the upcoming Red Ribbon Week, which is celebrated annually on October 23-31 and is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program.
Doe Mountain Recreation Executive Director Tate Davis was also present at this month’s board meeting to ask the council to proceed to the next level and have the town expand certain city streets for off-highway vehicle (OHV) use.
The topic has been something “in the works” for quite some time and would make Mountain City more OHV friendly, which in turn, is expected to boost tourism. No official action was taken, but lots of information was provided.
“We have an opportunity to expand direct access for DMRA visitors from eight current businesses via the Pioneer Village Shopping Center to 25 or more by creating a Town of Mountain OHV Zone,” explained Davis. “Funding for the necessary improvements for an expanded OHV Zone is potentially available to the DMRA if the town of Mountain City is willing to do its part to authorize the zone and join with the Authority to persuade funding sources to allow the expenditures.”