Volume 52, Number 21

twelve pages

Byrdstown, Tennessee 38549 -- Thursday, May 21, 2015

City and county at odds over beer permit

City and county at odds over beer permitThe Byrdstown Town Council has voted to proceed with legal action that would void a beer permit given to Morgan Wayne Keith by the Pickett County Beer Board during a special called meeting Thursday, May 20th.
The five member county beer board awarded Keith an (off premises) permit to sell beer at a location listed as 8471 Highway 111 during a beer board meeting on May 15th. The beer board notice was published in the Pickett County Press for two weeks. No complaints or disputes were brought forth by anyone at the meeting regarding the beer permit.
Apparently there was some confusion as to where the city boundaries were actually located following the action by the beer board and the Mayor of Byrdstown authorized a survey.
Charles Whittenburg, who is a licensed surveyor, presented his findings at the special called meeting. According to Whittenburg, the 8471 location seems to be inside the city limits, which violates a chapter of the city charter. TCA Section 8-101 states the sale of any intoxicating liquors, including beer is prohibited within the corporate limits of Byrdstown (Ord. #4, July 1947).
Byrdstown City Attorney Phillips Smalling advised the board of alderman that in the light of Whittenburg's findings and because of the charter’s no beer sale rule, the council was bound by their sworn duty to move to step and negate the county beer board's action.
According to Pickett County Executive Stephen Bilbrey, before the May 15th meeting, the beer board went to the Pickett County Tax Assessor office and reviewed tax maps and determined that the property was outside the city limits. However, City Attorney Smalling stated during the town meeting that county tax maps were not absolute and could not be used in a court of law.
Now a chancery judge will determine if the property is in the city limits and if the county's beer board's action was made in error.

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