Councilman Donald Douglas looks the part in a Rocky Top orange shirt as he readies to vote to rename Lake City.
LAKE CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) It's one step closer, but there's a big hurdle standing in front of Lake City becoming Rocky Top;
The company that owns the rights to the Rocky Top brand.
Lake City Mayor Tim Sharp shared the letter he received from an attorney with the House of Bryant Publications, LLC. The letter states that the Gatlinburg company owns multiple Rocky Top trademarks, including the song, "Rocky Top". Because of that ownership, the House of Bryant Publications, LLC is asking that Lake City refrain from renaming its city.
Sharp said that he and council have no intention of entering a lawsuit or doing anything to infringe upon the company's rights.
"We need to meet with the individuals involved with the House of Bryant Publications to make sure that we work out something that we don't infringe on their rights," Sharp said. "We don't want to do that."
Sharp added there will likely be some sort of compensation or agreement that the city attorney and attorneys for the Bryant House of Publications,LLC will try to negotiate, but admitted he didn't know what that might look like yet.
After Thursday's unanimous vote, the decision now goes before the Tennessee General Assembly early next year. If it passes there, the motion would then come back to Lake City to vote on.
Vice Mayor Michael Lovely abstained from the vote because he has been asked to be on the Board of Rocky Top Tennessee Marketing and Manufacturing. Lovely stated he didn't want there to be a conflict of interest because of that.
The Lake City council has voted to approve a plan to change the name of its town to "Rocky Top."
It's a story we first brought you on Local 8 News.
Rocky Top Products wants to build a $20 million dollar resort and amusement park in Lake City -- as long as the name is changed to Rocky Top.
But this doesn't mean the change is official - there are still plenty of legal hurdles to clear before the change is permanent.
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