Wet day, dry vote
Voters want no part of legalized alcohol sales
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Election day was wet but the city of Hartselle will stay dry.
On a wet and rainy day, Hartselle voters overwhelmingly decided to keep alcohol sales out of the city.
Out of 7,839 registered voters, 3,419 voted against alcohol sales versus 2,025 in favor of the proposal.
The decision was the culmination of a month-long campaign that pitted those who wanted no part of alcohol sales against those in favor of legalized liquor in the city. The "vote no" campaign was led by Families for a Safe Hartselle.
On Tuesday night, members of the grassroots committee gathered at Eddie Preutt Ford to listen to the totals and cheer the results. Phillip Hines, pastor of Hartselle Church of Christ led the group in a cheer of "No Booze" as they shared hugs and cheers and ate a cake emblazoned with the now-familiar "vote no" logo.
"The huge turnout helped us," said Families co-chairman Michael Grooms. "We've had tremendous support from throughout the city."
Families for a Safe Hartselle raised more than $16,000 to keep alcohol sales out of the city. Much of that money came from area churches.
Grooms said his group has approached the city about staying involved in future city issues.
"We would like to keep working for projects that would be positive for the city, so we could be for something instead of against something," Grooms said.
"You haven't heard the last of us."
The push for alcohol sales began more than a year ago, as part of an effort to shore up the city's coffers in lights of dwindling sales tax receipts. Organizers collected more than 800 signatures to have the alcohol issue put to a vote.
Hartselle would have been the ninth wet Alabama city located in a dry county. Others are Bridgeport and Scottsboro, both in Jackson County, are wet, as are Clanton in Chilton County, Enterprise in Coffee County, Florence in Lauderdale County, Guntersville in Marshall County, Jasper in Walker County and Decatur in Morgan County.
Out of 67 Alabama counties, 41 are wet and 26 are dry.