Hartselle council eyes ways to use alcohol tax

Clif Knight

Hartselle Enquirer

How Hartselle will use the revenue from the sales of alcohol was not completely decided last week, but the city council asked city attorney Larry Madison to draft a resolution requesting the alcohol tax money be used for capital needs within the city. During a work session prior to the council meeting Mayor Randy Garrison brought the subject to the council to discuss the way the funds would be spent.

Garrison shared information received from department heads about equipment needs such as a landfill dozer, fire truck, computers, road resurfacing, police vehicles, and updates to the civic center and other needs within the city.

“There are many needs within the city that have not been possible to meet and this revenue could be used to help fund these needs,” Garrison mentioned during the work session.

“We need to help the departments get up to speed with their equipment and do a better job of maintaining our roads and streets, added councilwoman Virginia Alexander. A new dozer would be a nice Christmas present for the Street Department.

“We don’t want to lose sight of what our community’s strengths are and offer services that are equal to or better than other communities of our size,” Councilman Matt Broom pointed out.

During the work session the topic of sharing a portion of the alcohol tax revenue with Hartselle City Schools was also discussed.” I’ve heard some folks use a 15 percent figure as the amount of the alcohol tax money that should be earmarked for Hartselle Schools,” stated Council Chairman Kenny Thompson. “The money should be tied to capital improvements.”

Councilman Dwight Tankersley agreed that some the alcohol tax revenue should be earmarked for education.

“Our schools are one of our most valuable assets,” he pointed out.

Garrison also added the council could commit a percentage of the tax to the principal on the bond issue that was used to fund the new high school.

At the suggestion of Councilman Tankersley, the council agreed to reach a decision on the sharing of the alcohol tax revenue with the school system during at the next budget cycle.

During the regular meeting the council in the absence of a motion to nominate one of two applicants for the Hartselle Utilities Board, the governing body approved a motion to table the decision. Incumbent 12-year board member Ed Monroe and Jimmy Day have applied for the position.

The council authorized the mayor to request an Attorney General’s opinion as to the validity of the prohibition against the sale of single serving beer or malt or brewed beverage for off-premises consumption in the alcohol ordinance.

The council has adopted an ordinance for the regulation and licensing of alcoholic beverage sales within the City of Hartselle. Business requesting to sale alcoholic beverages will be able to apply for licensing beginning Jan. 3, 2017. One of its provisions prohibits the sale of single container alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption.

The council acted on other matters as follows:

•Elected Mayor Randy Garrison to the Morgan County Industrial Park and Economic Development Cooperative District Board

•Authorized the mayor to sign a one-year renewal contract with Ming Enterprises LLC for real estate brokerage and professional services, effective Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018, with no changes from the prior year’s contract

•Adopted 2017 safe workplace guidelines from the Municipal Workers Compensation Fund, qualifying the city to receive an associated insurance premium discount

•Approved the vacation right-of-way along the Tanner Heights (U.S. Hwy. 31) service road, with the consent of eight of 10 commercial lot owners

•Approved a request from the William Bradford Huie Library to declare 523 duplicate, damaged or outdated books as surplus property

•Approved a budget adjustment request from Parks and Recreation Department to transfer $13,378.33 from the General Fund to the Buildings Maintenance/repairs. The funds were generated from the sale of scrap recycling and Govdeals.com. The money will be used for the fertilization and weed control on all athletic fields.

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