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County may pursue Sunday alcohol sales

Pike County Commissioners are likely to address the possibility of pursuing Sunday alcohol sales during a December meeting.

Allen Jones, county attorney, briefed commissioners on the process for the local private legislation that would be needed to change existing law.

“It’s the same process you would follow with any local act,” Jones told commissioners during Monday work session. “It starts here. Y’all would vote to as our legislators – Rep. (Alan) Boothe and Sen. (Jimmy) Holley to enter legislation giving you authority to either A, put this to a vote via referendum, or B, allow the commission to just impose the change …

“This can be done anytime before the legislative session, but I remind you that it’s an early session that starts in January (2018).”

Commissioner Charlie Harris had asked Jones to explain the process, as Harris has advocated for the county to consider allowing the change now that residents in the City of Troy have voted to allow Sunday sales inside the city jurisdiction.

Commissioners would need legislative authorization in the form of a local private bill to make any changes to existing law, and depending on how the request is written they could seek to hold a county-wide referendum or simply make the law changes by vote of the commission.

“I think if we address this in December that will give us plenty of time before the session starts” to send the request to the local delegation, Harris said.

Troy residents voted in October to allow sales of alcohol on Sunday. The Troy City Council is working to finalize the limits on those sales before the change takes effect.

In other business on Monday:

•Commissioners discussed holding a public hearing in January 2018 regarding a petition to vacation a portion CR7717. The road is adjacent to the Lockheed Martin plant in northern Pike County and the company has requested that the county vacate a portion of the road. Commissioner Homer Wright also reported that he, County Administrator Harry Sanders and Jones had met with the Lockeed Martin operations manager recently “to get a good working relationship between us and them. I hope the next trip we can get other commissioners to go with us,” he said.

• Signed a proclamation declaring November “Adoption Awareness Month” in Pike County. “One of the best things I get to do as probate judge is preside over adoption hearings,” said Judge Wes Allen. “Since 2010, we’ve had 95 adoption petitions in Pike County and were able today to have two hearings and grant petitions to place two children in their forever families.” Allen was joined at the signing by Patty Faircloth, director of DHR in Pike County.

• Approved a request from the Pike County Sheriff’s Department to fill two positions.

• Authorized the Pike County EMA to accept $11,168 in additional EMPG funding and approved the disbursement of $11,453 to the project management team working to draft plans for the Meeksville Shelter.

• Heard an update from County Engineer Russell Oliver that included a request for a personnel hire, which was approved, and a request for $11,550.22 in reimbursement for materials, equipment rental and overtime for emergency repairs to a culvert on CR4430. Commissioners deferred the decision on the reimbursement until the next meeting. Oliver also reported that his department will apply for a TAP grant to assist with chemical trimming along rights of way. “It’s my understanding that this program has been used by another county successfully for that purpose, so we’re going to try and see if we can qualify,” he said. Oliver estimated the total cost of the project, which would be bid to a contractor, would be about $200,000. The required 20 percent match would come the existing maintenance budget, he said.

The next commission meeting is Monday, Nov. 27.