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Liquor by the drink being proposed for November ballot in Monterey

Story By Dale Welch

  A few people, including non-Monterey and even non-county residents are passing a petition around to Monterey city voters that would allow liquor by the drink to be sold in Monterey.

  According to Putnam Election registrar Debbie Steidl, the petitioners need only 46 signatures of qualified town voters, which represents 10-oercent of the town’s vote in the last governor’s election. They are officially about half way there.

   Carol Haney, a Cumberland Cove resident, who lives in Cumberland County, turned the first couple of pages in already. Haney said there were others who actually lived in Monterey that were passing the same petition around. She told this reporter to contact Glenda Chaffin. A message was sent and a  Facebook posting, also, but she has not responded at the. Steidl said that anyone, even non-residents could present the petitions. It just had to be registered Monterey voters that signed.

  Steidl also that that, by default, beer sales in the city limits would also be allowed if the measure passes on the November ballot. With that in mind, Where could liquor and beer be sold? With 18 churches and schools and parks in town, it would mostly have to be sold nearer the interstate. However it could be sold in other areas of town.

 “Petitions have to be turned in 60 days before the Nov. 4 election,” Steidl said. “So,, they have plenty time.”

   Click on the links below to view the first two pages of the signed liquor by the drink petition and the receipt below, obtains from the Putnam County Election Commission through the Tennessee Open Records law.





The latest Monterey Depot Historical Society Christimas ornament is now avaliblefor a $10 donation (They were $20).. The scene is taken from an early postcard of hte Monterey Depot.

Click here for more...



Click here for more.



  What happens if a liquor by the drink by local referendum gets on the November ballot and passes?, Here is a review of some of the alcoholic beverage laws and regulations that may affect the town of Monterey upon passage of liquor by the drink, prepared by th University of Tennessee – Municipal Technical Assistance Service UT – MTAS).

  The law does not generally permit another election within a twenty-four (24) month period.  If the referendum for consumption exceeded 60% another election may not be held within a four (4) year period. 


State law provides that the State Alcoholic Beverage Commission (ABC) shall administer and enforce laws and regulations relating to on premise sale of alcoholic beverages.  The ABC will issue the license and conduct hearings relating to license violations.  They are authorized to develop and administer rules and regulations related to the sale of alcoholic beverages.  The City’s Beer Board will not regulate the provisions and requirements of the license.  The Beer Board may, however, upon the suspension of a beer permit, suspend a liquor license for a like period subject to an appeal to the ABC by the license holder. 


Alcoholic beverages may not be sold to persons under the age of twenty-one (21) and may not be sold by persons under the age of eighteen (18).  Persons selling or serving alcoholic beverages must have a permit from the ABC.  Alcoholic beverages may not be sold between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. during Monday through Saturday and may not be sold on Sundays between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m..  Beer sale hours must coincide with the hours of sale for alcoholic beverages as regulated by the ABC regardless of any ordinance to the contrary.


The town may want to review zoning regulations as they provide for the location of restaurants and other businesses.  The only way the city can regulate the location of businesses that sell liquor for consumption is to regulate the location of businesses.  A beer law requirement that beer not be sold within a certain number of feet from a church or school will not apply to the sale of liquor for on premise consumption.  You may want to limit restaurants to commercial zones and carefully define those zones.  You may need to grandfather some existing restaurants that may be affected by any zoning change.  I recommend that you review the zoning with your local planner.


With the passage of the liquor-by-the-drink referendum, the hours for beer sales become the same as the hours for liquor-by-the-drink sales that are established by the ABC.  [TCA 57-5-301(b) (1).]  The Tennessee Attorney General has opined that the same rule applies to both on premises beer consumption sales and package beer sales. [See OAG 02-023.]  The ABC does not prohibit the sale of liquor-by-the-drink on Election Day.


The Town of Monterey would be authorized under TCA, 57-4-301, to levy an annual privilege tax on private clubs, restaurants, and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages for on premise consumption.  This levy is collected by the town.


 A gross receipts tax of fifteen (15) percent is levied by the State of Tennessee on all alcoholic beverages sold for consumption on the premises.  This fee is collected by the State Department of Revenue on a monthly basis and is distributed as follows: 


(I)  Fifty percent (50%) for education.  (State)

(II) Fifty percent (50%) to the local political jurisdiction.


            The local amount is further allocated with fifty percent (50%) to education and fifty              percent (50%) to the City General Fund.


This distribution provides that seventy-five percent (75%) of the on premise consumption gross receipts tax goes to education (state and Local).


Beer may be consumed outside a restaurant in open containers.  TCA 57-5-103 (A) (3) indicates that beer may be consumed outside a building where the outside area is contiguous with the building operated by the holder of the beer license.


The new regulations and hours of sale begin with the certification of the election results by the county election commission.


In those cities in which the sale of only packaged liquor is authorized, TCA 57-3-406 governs the hours of sale of packaged liquor.  In such cities package liquor may not be sold between the hours of 11:00 P.M. Saturday and 8:00 A.M. on Monday.  From Monday through Saturday it may be sold from 8:00 A.M. through 11:00 P.M.  In such cities package liquor stores may not sell liquor on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Labor Day, New Years Day, and the Fourth of July.  That statute does not prohibit the sale of package liquor on election day.  The city may collect an 8% inspection fee for package liquor sales.


In addition to a state privilege tax, the state levies a 15% gross receipts tax on wine and spirit sales (TCA 57-4-301(c)).  The tax is earmarked for education and local government.  The city receives 25% of the tax collected from businesses within their boundaries.


Private clubs must purchase a one-time permit costing $250.00.  They must also pay an annual privilege tax of $100.00 to the city (TCA 57-5-104).

Standing Stone Day planned for Saturday, Oct. 11

  Plans are being made for another exciting Standing Stone Day! The 2014 event is gearing up to be bigger and better than ever.


  Here's what e have so far...

  Vendors will set up on Commercial Ave. in downtown. Food vendors will be set up in a designated place. There will be tables and chairs for visitors to sit. Download a vendors application below.

  The parade will begin at 9 a.m. from  off the 300 exit ramp of I-40 on South Holly and proceed north to Commercial Ave, turning right and heading to the Standing Stone.

  The annual laying of the wreath and the tomahawk at the base of the Standing Stone along with Native American and Civil War demonstrations will follow shortly after the parade.

  An excursion train will arrive at the Monterey Depot Museum sometime around noon. Around 500 visitors are expected from the Tennessee Central Railway Museum. After they deboard, you can ride the train on a 6-mile round trip for only $10 per person. Call the amonterey Depot Museum at 931-839-2111 for more information on the excursion or visit www.montereydepot.com.

  Keep checking back as things develop. 

Click photo to download Vendor Application Form



Click here to download Spring on the Mountain 2015 Vendor Application




 Spring on the Mountain will be on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in downtown Monterey. There will be several craft and food vendors in the downtown area mostly around the Monteerey Depot Museum. Just across the railroad tracks, this year, will be a car show at the Farmer's Market. Also, at the Farmers Market, the Monterey Garden Club will host their annual and very popular plant sale from early morning until they run out.

An excursion train will arrive from Nashville sometime near noon. If you want to ride from Nashville, contact the Tennessee Central Railway Museum online at http://www.tcry.org/ If its a short ride you want, the Monterey Depot Historical Society is selling tickets for $10 each to ride from the museum out to the sand plant and back. Entertainment is being planned for the event.

After a hard, cold winter, y'all come on up to the mountain and help us kick off the spring season.

For craft and food vendors, click on the appropriate link for an application for and more details.



Concrete and asphalt were two of the biggest ingredients on the Monterey Central Transportation Museum list last week. Painting inside walls and ceiling were also done last week. Depending on weather, pavers for the Rails with Trails will be in place on the Depot property, starting this week. Thanks to Monterey Fire Chief Kevin Peters for allowing me on the ladder truck for this arial photo. Photo: Dale Welch/Hilltop Express

PO BOX 836
PHONE: 931-839-2949

Where the Hilltops Kiss the Sky

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