By Mike Steely

One of the things to come out of the recent retreat of members of the Knoxville City Council members is the idea of meeting earlier than the current 7 p.m. sessions. The council meets twice each month and the idea appears to be aimed at drawing more citizens.

Councilman Mark Campen told The Focus that several of the council members want the meetings to begin at 6 p.m. with the beer board to meet at 5 p.m. That moves both meetings one hour earlier. Campen said the earlier meetings might be more difficult for members who hold regular jobs and said he may suggest 5:30 and 6:30 instead although his name is among those on the sponsorship.

Other Council members who sponsored the move include Brenda Palmer, George Wallace, Marshall Stair, Finbarr Saunders, Nick Pavlis, and Duane Grieve.

Tuesday’s regular council meeting at 7 p.m. also includes a discussion of Mayor Madeline Rogero’s proposed budget.The mayor has proposed no new tax increase.

Although the agenda includes two requests form Bruhin Road property owner Quint Bourgeois for zoning changes to permit apartments the matter will apparently be postponed to a future meeting. The Inskip neighborhood continues to oppose the rezoning.

In other action Fenton Nissan is appealing a denial of the planning commission to rezone a lot on Clinton Highway and Tillery Road from residential to commercial. The council may also discuss the code involving merchandising in city parks involving mobile food trucks.

Other zoning changes before the council concern properties on Fennel Road, McCalla Avenue, West Magnolia, East Jackson Avenue, and Chambliss Avenue.

The Metropolitan Planning Commission is asking the council to approve the proposed One Year Plan and is also recommending a zoning change discussion concerning the historic Cal Johnson Building on State Street near West Summit Hill Drive.

The Engineering Department is asking for approval of a contract with Southern Construction, Inc., for the Fort Sanders First Station #9 floor modification project and $754,334 with the same company for repairs for the Sutherland Avenue Bridge.

The Fire Department is asking the council to approve the renting of a boat slip at Volunteer Landing Marina. Several businesses, including Walmart, are asking for certificates of compliance for wine or beer sales.