Dade is a happenin' kind of place this week, so your friendly neighborhood Planet is posting this list of events, from meetings to hayrides, in a spirit of community service and general helpfulness. Whether it's autumnal fun you're after or a chance to participate in democracy, this is your chance to dive into your community!
First, the newly-formed committee of citizens appointed to come up with needed changes to the Dade County Commission's proposed land use ordinance has its first meeting tonight at 6 p.m. in the conference room inside the Dade County Commission office.
Photo: One of Dade's many junkyards. The county has never had zoning laws regulating what can be put where. This may change as citizens are increasingly concerned about protecting their property values and environment and open to land-use rules to accomplish that.
The meeting is open to the public. If you'd like to attend, the commission office is in the county Administrative Building, behind the big meeting room in which monthly meetings are conducted. After you go into the commission office, the conference room is the first door on the right.
The county Facebook page specifies: "Discussion regarding the ordinance may include, but is not limited to, regulate siting, development standards and operation of industrial land uses in the unincorporated area of the County; standards for the Board of Commissioners’ exercise of authority under that ordinance; and policies and procedures for conducting hearings under that ordinance." Members of the committee are Jeremy Dyer, Mike Graham, Dr. Billy Pullen, Tom Tamburello, Allen Townsend and David Young.
Also tonight, Tuesday, Oct. 22, is the regular monthly meeting of the governing board for the Dade County Water Authority. That meeting, which is also usually in the Administrative Building, will be moved to the water company office tonight--that's 250 Bond St., a block east of the Trenton town square.
On the water board's agenda tonight are decisions about extending water lines and service, increasing tap fees and applying for another USDA loan. Updates about improvements and replacements of water treatment plant equipment are also in the lineup. Water board meetings are also open to the public.
Something more fun to put on your calendar is the Dade County Public Library's enormously popular annual Trick or Treat on the Square event. That happens this Saturday, Oct. 26, inside and outside the library, and about 1500 kids and their families are expected this year.
Festivities start at 5:30 p.m. The library's theme this year will be Star Wars, but outside the library sponsors from the community have their own booths and who knows what you may see there? Food City is sponsoring a costume contest with cash prizes.
And don't forget the gauntlet flung to the public by library manager Marshana Sharp (right): Come by the libe to pick up a free pumpkin-carving kit, use it to turn your pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern, and bring it back any time this week before noon on Saturday.
Library staffers will supply a light for the inside, get the jack-o-lantern to the square, and enter it in their jack-o-lantern contest. There are also cash prizes here, but even if you don't win, you will have helped restore to the square to its former Halloween glory--the library used to surround the square with grinning jack-o-lanterns every fall, but its free pumpkin source dried up.
This year the library expects the trick-or-treat experience to be better than ever before. There's always a long line to tour the [extravagantly decorated and chocolate-packed] library, and this year there will be entertainment provided to help young'uns pass the time.
Rising Fawn Gardens Fall on the Farm
Also this Saturday, Oct. 26, is a new event, Fall on the Farm, at Rising Fawn Gardens. Rising Fawn Gardens is the old Peewee Payne event venue at 521 Cureton Mill Road in Rising Fawn. It is now the property of Steve and Karen Persinger (below), who have expanded it into a yoga/church retreat facility as well as a special events venue and organic farm.
The Persingers are eager to meet their Dade County neighbors, and to that end they sponsor periodic "open farm days" when the public at large is invited to tour their gardens. This Saturday's will be a lulu! Activities are from10 a.m.-2 p.m. and include hiking the trails, touring the gardens, sampling the harvests, enjoying hayrides and more.
There is no entrance fee for the Saturday event but, as always at Open Farm days, donations will be cheerfully accepted to support the Scholarship Fund at Rising Fawn Gardens, which promotes programming and land conservation.
For more information, please visit risingfawngardens.com or call Karen Persinger at (423) 991-1188.
Beer Board to Hear Hartline's Proposal
Finally, here's something fairly momentous coming up public meeting-wise next week. The Dade County Alcoholic
Beverage Control Board (which would like to be referred to in the short form as that ABC board and instead gets "beer board" every time) will meet at 5 p.m. next Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the conference room of the Dade County Commission office, which is, again, in the county Administrative Building. On the agenda is a proposed amendment to Dade's alcoholic beverage ordinance to be presented by District 2 Commissioner Phillip Hartline.
(Photo: The beer board with guests in a file photo from another historic meeting, when it granted the first on-premises serving license to a county restaurant.)
Hartline, elected just last year on a shake-it-up-and-change-things platform, has in county commission meetings proposed legalizing package sales of alcohol in Dade as well as allowing Sunday sales in restaurants and stores.
Liquor by the drink in Dade County was overwhelmingly approved in a public referendum in 2016, but a subsequent ordinance drafted by the county commission imposed such restrictions on sales as to more or less nullify the public vote. Recent developments have seemed to point toward a relaxation of those rules. Also on the beer board's Oct. 29 agenda is a progress report on an initiative to allow alcohol sales at special events, proposed by county wedding venue proprietors.