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Bill would clear the way for smaller cities to OK sales

By Staff
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
A bill currently before the state legislature could leave a dry Hartselle between a wet rock and a hard place.
Sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Martin, D-Clanton, the bill would allow towns of any size to legalize alcohol sales. The cities would only be required to get a petition with signatures representing 25 percent of the people that voted in the last general election before they could hold an alcohol referendum.
Currently, a city in a dry county must have a population of 7,000 before they can vote on alcohol sales. A city located in a wet county has to have 4,000 residents before it can vote to go wet.
Dry Morgan County currently has one wet city, Decatur. If Martin’s bill passes, it could clear the way for towns such as Priceville and Falkville - both of which have property along the interstate - to legalize alcohol sales.
But not so fast, said mayors of both communities.
Falkville, population 1,200, is currently enjoying its first major interstate development with the construction of Love’s Travel Center. Walker said he thinks the city can grow without alcohol sales.
Down the road, Priceville Mayor Mevin Duran, said many people consider the city wet due to its proximity to Decatur. The city limits of Priceville mingle with Decatur’s and some of the stores at the shared interstate exit are able to sell alcohol.
Duran said he doesn’t know if alcohol sales would pass in his fast-growing city, home to some 2,380 people at last count.
Duran said he doesn’t know if an alcohol referendum would pass in his community but if it did, he’s work to make sure there were strict ordinances in place.
Duran said if Martin’s bill passes, he would be open to letting the people decide.

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