The Pegram Board of Mayor and Aldermen met last week. All members were present.
The meeting began with a Beer Board meeting to discuss and consider action with respect to the revocation or suspension of the beverage permit held by Pegram Shell owner Hakoo H. Bilimoria, and the possible imposition of a civil penalty for alleged violation of Tennessee Code Annotated §57-4-203 and the Town of Pegram Ordinance 8-211. (Selling alcohol to a minor).
On July 24th, 2013 Jayanti Lal Patel of 1035 Sunset Rd. in Brentwood, manager at the convenience store on Highway 70 in Pegram, was arrested after selling alcohol to a minor. The arrest was the result of a sting operation set up by the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Department. A minor informant was sent into the store to attempt to purchase alcohol. When she returned with a cold 24oz. can of Bud Lite in a brown paper bag deputies went in and arrested the 59 year old manager.
The case was heard in late November, when Patel applied for and received Pre-Trial Diversion for 11 months 29 days and court cost of $335.00. At the end of that period he may apply to have his record expunged.
The Pegram Beer Board needed to decide if there would be any penalties handed down from their body. The manager at the time of the sale, Jayanti Lal Patel spoke to the Beer Board before they moved forward, saying “I am guilty, but with an explanation.” He went on, “It was a very sad day for me”, explaining that he had a severe tooth ache, and a family member fighting cancer. He added that the store was very busy, and “my mind was not in the store at that time”. Pegram Shell owner Hakoo H. Bilimoria added, “we have been checked too many times before, every time we have passed”. She added, “I know, he made a mistake, and it was just a human error, and I know this is wrong”.
Mayor Morehead spoke, saying he’s been in the community for 20 years, been involved with the schools, “I’ve seen a lot of kids with accidents after they’ve been drinking. I know they’re getting it somewhere, and if it’s not at your store it’s at other stores and I understand that part. My main concern is the kids in this community”. He added that although sales tax is important to the town, which is in part beer sales tax, “I could care less personally if we ever sold another beer in this town if it meant losing a kid.” He added that he recommended that they suspend the store’s permit and lock their coolers for 10 days. He added that if there’s a second violation the penalty will be more severe.
Alderman Bob Sanders said that everyone has bad days, but added that a bad day that leads to a minor buying beer could mean that “someone dies”, stating that he thought 10 days was a little light. Eugene Evans agreed.
Vice Mayor Bill Herbert suggested that the Board stick to “guidelines” that suggest 10 day suspension for a 1st offense, 30 days for a 2nd offense, permit revocation after a third. Herbert made that motion, Miller seconded, Morehead voted yes, Evans and Sanders voted no. The coolers will remained locked, no beer sales allowed until Monday, December 16th at 10a.m.
“They’ve been involved with the Town of Pegram for quite some time now”, said before presenting plaques to Brent Stuart and Shannon Beshears, for the 20+ years of service to the town and the Fire Department. Chief Stuart thanked the board, saying “we couldn’t do our jobs if not for the numerous people that have sat on this board, that got us the funding that we got back in ’01 that’s gotten us what we’ve got today.”
In other business:
• The board unanimously authorized the signing of an agreement to lease property for sewer expansion, contingent on a couple of items that need to be approved by an auditor.
• After sending surveys to residents of Scenic View Dr., Beverly Hills Dr. and Thompson Rd. to find out who was interested in having gas lines brought to their area, the Town has received 8 from Scenic View and 4 on Beverly Hills which is 12 total. The gas company was hoping for 13, but Morehead thinks that they may succeed. Alderman Evans and Bob Sanders will be going into the areas to try and get a few more responses. On Thompson Rd. there are 8 responses, “I think if we can get a couple more out there we can probably get it run out there”.
• A surplus mower was sold to Alderman Eugene Evans for $552.
• The board unanimously approved Resolution 2013-129 authorizing the application for a $449,000 loan from a State Government revolving loan fund, which the town is seeking for “improvements and rehabilitation in order to bring the plant up to State standards”.
The Pegram Board of Mayor and Aldermen meet the last Thursday of each month in Town Hall in Pegram at 7 p.m.