Greene County considers Sunday alcohol sales

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The issue was tabled at the last Greene County Commission meeting, but it was the first thing to be brought up at yesterday’s gathering.

After taking a closer look at the idea of selling alcoholic beverages after 1 p.m. on Sundays, county attorney Latasha Meadows said a motion must first be presented to the state legislature before any decisions are made.

“We have to ask the state legislature to pass a motion,” commission chairman Chip Beeker said.

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“But do we want to authorize something like this without having a pubic hearing and getting input from the community first,” Commissioner Donald Means asked, “This will be a big deal.”

The commission agreed to present a resolution to the state to see if that gets approved.

If the legislation passes the resolution for alcohol sales, all stores in Greene County will be able to sell alcohol after 1 p.m. on Sundays, but Greene County will have to wait for the specific measures to be taken.

Greene County joined many other counties in the state yesterday once commissioners agreed to participate in the tax-free day in August.

Before school begins this fall, parents won’t have to pay taxes on certain school items when getting their children ready for their first days back.

“As high as things are now,” Means said, ” people need some relief when it comes to buying what children need for school.”

The group will set a date for tax-free shopping on or before July 3.

But even though most Greene County parents will be happy to find out about the tax-free day, those who live in the Two Rivers subdivision still may not be as happy.

In the northwest part of the county the water quality isn’t up to par, water board representative Dickie Odom said, and easements and property lines are placing an obstacle in the way of improvements.

According to Meadows, there community would need a 60 foot easement and abide by certain property laws, including fixing roads, in order for the county to solve the problem, but the county engineer J.D. Smith said the land has no easements at all.

“We have to consider some way to improve the water up there in that community. We have to enhance that development,” Odom said. “All I want to do is get those folks some water and we need to improve those lines. There’s a lot of potential in recreation up there if y’all want to explore it.”

“Putting those houses up there is bringing in real revenue,” commissioner William Johnson said, “We can’t sit here and do nothing.”

Beeker said he wants to help improve the water in the Two Rivers community, but he doesn’t want to break the law doing it.

Therefore, Meadows and commissioners will look into options to help the north Greene community.

Sheriff Johnny Isaac also brought to commissioners’ attention that the law requires the county to have 16 more polling machines and a secure place to store them.

Isaac suggested purchasing a $4,500 portable building to store the ballots and machines so no one will have access to the ballots before and after elections.

The commission agreed to purchase a storage building and tables necessary to accommodate the new machines before the upcoming elections.

After receiving only one bid on the property on Choctaw Road, commissioners accepted the offering from the Greene County Baptist Association. The group will have five years to begin building on the land, or it will revert back to the county.

Commissioners also gave Smith permission to hire four more employees to help with summer tasks.

“We are down four less employees than we were last summer,” Smith said.

But, according to Johnson the work wasn’t done in a satisfactory manner last year, even with more men on board.

“We’re expecting a whole lot of work to get done this summer,” Means said before the motion was approved.

The commission acknowledged a letter from a county employee requesting restoration of salary, but did not take action on the request for fear of the precedent it may set.