Demopolis council passes Sunday alcohol sales resolution

Published 6:33 pm Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sunday alcohol sales may soon be on tap for Demopolis after a city council vote Thursday.

The council passed a resolution supporting Sunday and holiday alcohol sales. The issue now goes to Montgomery and the Alabama Legislature.

If the measure passes the State House, it will be put up for statewide referendum, likely in November.

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The council passed the resolution 4-1. Councilmen Nathan Hardy, Charles Jones Jr., Bill Meador and Harris Nelson voted in favor of the resolution. Cleveland Cole was the lone “no” note.

Mayor Mike Grayson and wife Susan own Vine and Hoof, a beer and wine store in Demopolis. Citing a conflict of interest, the mayor abstained from discussing or voting on the issue.

Connie Brown addressed the council asking them to vote down the resolution. She is the coalition coordinator for a mental health grant that works to prevent alcohol and substance abuse in Marengo and surrounding counties.

Brown cited a survey she conducted in December that showed most residents think drinking and driving is a problem. A majority of people she surveyed also said someone in their family has a drinking problem.

“What will honor us the best?” Brown asked the council.

Nelson spoke after Brown and said he thought the right thing to do would be to let citizens vote on the issue.

“I think it would be honorable to let the City of the People decide the issue for themselves,” Nelson said.

Resident John Morrison also spoke before the council in support of Sunday sales.

“I wish y’all would give the people the chance to vote,” Morrison said.

Morrison added that he thought Sunday sales might bring in a larger sit-down restaurant.

“We need one here in Demopolis,” Morrison said. “It’s time, we need a place like that.”

Nelson made the motion to pass the resolution, which was seconded by Jones.

Before casting his no vote, Cole said: “I think Sunday is a day to worship in the faith with family, and I just feel like alcohol should not be a part of it.”

Nelson said the council makes many decisions for residents but Sunday sales is one issue that people can vote up or down on for themselves.

“As far as I know, the people in this city have never voted on Sunday sales,” Nelson said. “It’s time for us to let them decide.”

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