PIEDMONT — After turning down two proposals in October for outdoor alcohol sales at events in downtown Piedmont, the City Council listened to a similar proposal Tuesday night, and most members agreed it was a good compromise.
The council heard plans from Nathan Pope, owner of Pope’s Furniture in downtown Piedmont, to form a calendar of potential events for the city. One feature Pope and other business owners want to include at those events is a beer garden.
Pope said he has met multiple times with other Piedmont business owners to come up with ideas for attracting more people to downtown events.
“What we came up with was a beer garden,” he said. “It would be completely separate and would be set up like a wedding tent. We’ll set up some sort of food vendor inside and tables for people to sit and enjoy.”
The group of business owners would like to expand on or otherwise improve several events that already occur in the city, as well as add a few more, according to Pope. For example, the group would like to add a downtown component to the Piedmont Road Race on April 14 by bringing vendors out to sell their wares and attract more people to the area.
“We also talked about the Christmas parade, which is usually on a Tuesday. We’d like to move it to a Saturday, so we can have some kind of Christmas Village that runs all day,” Pope said.
He also wants to bring back an event that’s been held off and on in recent decades called the Sunshine Festival. It would be sometime in October, with live music and a cook-off competition.
“I think this is the first calendar I’ve seen since I’ve been on the council. I think this is a big help,” said Councilman Greg South.
The proposed beer garden could be a part of a few or all of the aforementioned events.
“There will be minimal points of entry and some sort of barricades, so you can’t come and go at any point. There would be some sort of policeman or guard at the entry, so there would be regulation on who enters. You wouldn’t be able to walk through town with a beer in your hand,” Pope said.
The proposal was well-received by many of the council members, including Doug Dickeson, who said it looks like a “great plan.” He also commended Pope for bringing the calendar of events to the council.
“All I asked was that we find some sort of compromise because there are some people who call and say they don’t want this kind of thing,” Dickeson said in reference to previous council meetings.
“I think that the tent thing is a plus, considering some of the concerns folks had,” said Mayor Bill Baker. “I think this is a good compromise.”
Baker said he thinks the confinement of the alcohol consumption to a designated space is a good idea, so those who don’t want to be exposed to that won’t have to be.
“I think this is a good compromise,” South said.
The mayor said the council will get together to give an answer on whether they will support the beer garden at the events at the next council meeting.
Baker went on to congratulate the Piedmont High football team for its playoff run, which ended in a loss in the final in Auburn.
“We didn’t quite make it home with the big trophy, but we did play in the championship game and it’s remarkable that we’ve been there as many times as we have. Of the four times we’ve been there, we’ve won three. I guess the old saying is true, you can’t win them all. I’m proud of these boys,” he said.
In other business, the council:
Approved bills and accounts in the amount of $259,795.53;
Approved a motion giving all city employees the day of Dec. 31 off;
Discussed the need for the city to purchase new trash cans and dumpsters.
The next council meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 18, beginning with a work session at 5:30 p.m.