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Ringgold resident Joe Kauffman was so worried about people driving into his home on narrow Church Street, that he placed a gigantic rock on his property.

"We live on the corner. I figure someone would come blasting down the street and come into my house," Kauffman told the Ringgold City Council last week during a public hearing on whether to make Church Street one-way from Lafayette Street to Cleveland Street.

The council ultimately approved three one-way changes on first reading to help curb the potential for car accidents throughout downtown. All of the votes were unanimous.

Kauffman said the Church Street change "is perfect" and safer for the community.

Coming up

At its Oct. 28 meeting, the Ringgold City Council also held the first reading of an amendment to allow convenience store-like operations inside hotels and motels to sell bottled beer and wine. If passed on second reading, the ordinance will closely follow the same rules of in-store sales with the stipulation that only hotel guests can purchase the alcohol for consumption on hotel property. A public hearing on the amendment will be held at the council’s next meeting Monday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.

The issue was initially brought to the council last month when residents complained that the new fence at Old Ringgold Cemetery on Church Street blocked motorists' line of sight. In the month since, the council has talked to owners of businesses that operate on the street, like those at Butterfly Salon, who Councilman Randall Franks said are "fully on board" with the change.

City Manager Dan Wright said the changes would occur after the Nov. 11 meeting if the ordinances are passed on second reading.

The council also approved making Jail Street one-way between Lafayette and Nashville streets, the block which passes in front of the Catoosa County Magistrate Judge's office.

In approving this, the council moved to also make the next street over, Maple Street, one-way from Nashville to Lafayette streets. During highly trafficked hours, both blocks have been prone to backups, officials said.

Email Sabrina Bodon at sbodon@timesfreepress.com

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