Sunday alcohol sales?

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Troy residents could soon be voting on whether to allow Sunday alcohol sales within the city.

Troy City Council President Marcus Paramore told his fellow councilmembers in the executive committee session Tuesday that Rep. Alan Boothe, R-Troy, will be asked to draft a local bill in the Legislature that would allow the city to hold a referendum on Sunday sales.

“I’ve been approached numerous times since this last election about Sunday alcohol sales,” Paramore said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Paramore explained that the once the bill is drafted it must be advertised for four weeks before the Legislature can take any action on it. Paramore said that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be voted on exactly four weeks after it’s drafted.

“There are a lot of variables to clear,” Paramore said.

If the bill passes the Legislature, the council will then take action, Paramore said.

“If it passes in this (legislative) session, at some point in the near future the council would have to decide whether to have a referendum and then to fund that referendum,” Mayor Jason Reeves said.

Paramore said the local bill would be drafted to include that a referendum be held on the issue. Councilmembers voiced their desire to ensure the people get a vote on whether to allow Sunday alcohol sales.

“As long as we let people vote on it I’m good with it,” said District 2 Councilman Greg Meeks.

“I think the big thing is letting the citizens of Troy decide,” Paramore said.

Paramore said the local bill would be written broadly to give the council room to tailor whatever ordinance it would pass if the referendum goes through.

“You would want your local bill to be broad and encompassing so the local bill could govern within that,” Paramore said.

District 5 Councilwoman Wanda Moultry asked whether the referendum would include any tailored regulations, such as whether Sunday sales will be allowed for all stores and restaurants or just restaurants.

“I think you can put some parameters in there – there are different kind of licenses, but all that could be done at the local level,” Paramore said.

“That discussion would be more appropriate at the time where you’re trying to form an ordinance,” Reeves added in. “If a local bill were to pass, that would be the time for the council to take it up.”

Paramore said the referendum would be a broader question such as “Do you support the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday?” and that the council could add parameters if it passes.

The council discussed different options of limiting Sunday sales, including whether it would apply to all businesses with licenses and whether to only allow sales for a portion of the day, but did not make any decisions about what the ordinance might say.

District 1 Councilman Robert Jones said he could see the “pros and cons” of allowing sales of alcohol on Sunday.

Paramore said his constituents were mostly asking based on an interest in economic development in the city.

“Some of my constituents are investors or about to be investors in restaurants that may want to come to town,” Paramore said. “(These restaurants) might want Sunday sales for NFL games and things of that nature. My constituents want it purely as an economic development piece for the City of Troy to attract new restaurants and things into town.”

District 4 Councilwoman Stephanie Baker was absent from both the executive committee meeting and the council meeting.

During the regular council meeting, the council:

• Approved a bid award to Cross Roofing, the lowest bidder, for the re-roofing of Academy Street High School for $74,488. Reeves said the historic building needed a new roof to keep it intact until the City can begin renovating the building for use.

• Approved a bid award to Superior Power for an upgraded north power transformer for $495,000. Another bidder bid $490,000, but Utilities Manager Brian Chandler said the department also looked at the cost of the use over the transformer’s life and Superior Power’s transformer would save the City at least $3,000 over it’s lifetime.

• Released the FYE2016 audit. The full audit can be found in the minutes of the council meeting.

• Declared a list of surplus property within the city’s various departments, much of which Reeves said would be auctioned off at the upcoming auction held by the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association.

• Appointed Reeves to be the voting delegate for the Alabama League of Municipalities.

The next meeting of the Troy City Council will be held Tuesday, April 12 at City Hall. The executive committee meeting will be held upstairs at 4 p.m. followed by the council meeting in the City Council Chambers at 5 p.m.