County will likely place limitations on Sunday alcohol sales

Published 3:00 am Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Pike County Commission’s request to the state legislature doesn’t mention anything about any parameters, but that doesn’t mean the commission plans to keep it that way.

District 5 Commissioner Charlie Harris, the originator of the resolution, said his plan is to follow in the footsteps of the City of Troy.

“We will bring it back to the table and discuss it among the commission,” Harris said. “We would probably do it the same way as the City of Troy.”

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Troy specifically outlined in their request to the legislature earlier this year that alcohol was only to be sold after noon on Sundays and also added another exception to the final ordinance barring lounges from selling alcohol prior to 2 p.m. and after 10 p.m. except for some holidays.

Chairman Robin Sullivan said he believes the plan is to follow the city’s ordinance exactly.

“As far as I know, we’re going to just tack on the same plan that they already have in place,” Sullivan said.

But because the commission didn’t outline those parameters in their resolution, they would have the authority not to add those limitations either if Rep. Alan Boothe, R-Pike, and Sen. Jimmy Holley, R-Pike, leave the language as it is.

Commissioner Russell Johnson, District 6, said he believes those parameters should have been discussed and included in the resolution.

“That probably should have been delineated in that resolution exactly what we’re doing,” Johnson said. “But we’re going to have to have that conversation. I don’t see us allowing alcohol to be sold 24 hours a day.”

Johnson was the only commissioner not to vote in favor of the resolution last month, citing that he believes it is a referendum issue and would not support a resolution unless it only authorized a referendum.

The City of Troy’s resolution specifically outlined that the vote would be a referendum issue and Johnson said the city set a precedent for how the vote should be handled.

Commissioner Chad Copeland, District 4, said the rule would probably mimic Troy’s, but the commission could decide differently.

“Basically what we need to do is make it an even playing field,” Copeland said. “But we have the ability to make different rules if that’s what we need to do.”

Boothe said that he and Holley would speak about the resolution and be ready to move forward when the legislative session begins on January 9.

If approved as it is written, the commission would have the authority to either hold a referendum or vote directly on the issue as a governing body.

The next meeting of the Pike County Commission will be held on January 8 upstairs at the Pike County Health Department. The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. and will be followed by a business meeting at 6 p.m.