“I’m in favor of the people voting on this,” said Councilwoman Dot Wood.
If the council approves the proposed resolution Monday, the city will forward the document to the local state delegation so a local bill is introduced in Montgomery.
Councilmen Greg Gossett and James McGowan said they would support the resolution, which would eventually leave it in the hands of Pell City voters as to whether alcoholic beverages are sold in the municipality on Sundays.
McGowan said he was a little surprised the issue came up at Thursday’s work session.
“A lot of people may have a problem with this, I don’t know,” McGowan said.
Mayor Bill Hereford said Tuscaloosa spent several years trying to get a public vote to determine whether voters agreed with Sunday alcohol beverage sales there.
Hereford said when the issue finally went to the voters, more than 80-percent of the Tuscaloosa city’s voters were in favor of the change.
He said Sunday alcohol beverage sales could help local businesses and restaurants.
“We live in a lake resort area. The lake is a very popular recreation area,” Hereford said. “A lot of people come here from Birmingham on the weekends.”
He said change will not only help local businesses but it could help generate some additional tax revenues for the city.
“I think it’s a good thing,” Hereford said.
He said Sunday alcohol sales could also attract new restaurants to the city.
“I do think it will help attract new restaurants,” Hereford said.
He said it could take a while before the public could vote on the issue.
“First, the council must pass this resolution,” Hereford said.
He said a local bill must be introduced and passed in Montgomery before the city could set up a referendum for voters to decide whether or not to permit Sunday alcohol beverage sales.
“The voters of the City of Pell City may authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages within the municipality on Sunday by an election pursuant to this act, in the following manner:,” the resolution states. “Within 30 days from the effective date of this act, the governing body of the City of Pell City may, by resolution, call an election for municipality to determine the sentiment of the voters of the municipality residing within the corporate limits, as to whether or not alcoholic beverages can be legally sold or distributed on Sunday within the municipality.”
The ballot is simple and direct, according to the resolution.
The ballot will simply ask voters, “Do you favor the legal sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages within the municipality, on Sunday between 12 p.m. (noon) and 9:30 p.m., and on those Sundays on which occurs New Year’s Even (Dec. 31) after 12 p.m., (noon)? Yes…..No…..”
The city is required to advertise the election and apprise the voters of the municipality at least three weeks prior to the date of the election.
In accordance with the proposed resolution, the cost of the election “shall be paid out of the general fund of the municipality.”
“If a majority of the voters voting in the municipal election vote “No”, alcoholic beverages may not be sold or dispensed in the municipality…., except as otherwise authorized by law or subsequent election which legalizes the sale and dispensing of alcoholic beverages on Sunday.”