August 24, 2015

Springville moves forward with vote; 3 cities begin seven-day sales Sunday.

By DAVID ATCHISON, Home staff writer

ST. CLAIR COUNTY – While three cities certified their election results, making Sunday alcohol sales officially legal in Pell City, Riverside and Moody, Springville approved holding a special referendum to let its residence decide the matter.

The Springville City Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday night authorizing a special election to determine the sentiment of the voters living within the city.

“I don’t have a bit of problem allowing the people to vote,” said Councilman Wayne Tucker. “I know I am going to get a backlash, but I think people have a right to vote on this.”

City officials estimate the special election, which is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 10, will cost about $5,000.

“I don’t see a lot of difference in buying it Saturday night or Sunday,” Tucker said at Monday’s council meeting.

Council members discussed setting times in which alcohol beverages could be sold on Sundays, if the referendum passes.

City attorney James Hill III told the council there are several things the city must do before and after the election, including appointing poll workers and canvassing the results, before the council considers setting times for Sunday purchases.

The resolution unanimously passed by the council authorized the mayor and city clerk to move forward and do what is necessary to conduct the election in accordance with Alabama law. State legislators passed a bill in Montgomery allowing cities in St. Clair County to hold special elections to determine if voters in individual cities were in favor of Sunday sales.

Last week, residents in three cities voted in favor of seven-day sales.

Pell City and Moody officially certified their election results Tuesday, and Riverside certified its results Monday night. All three cities will allow businesses with proper licenses to begin selling alcoholic beverages this Sunday.

Riverside City Clerk Candace Smith said the city had 12 provisional ballots, but only four were counted. There were two votes for and against in the provisional ballots, bringing the official vote count to 206 residents in favor of Sunday sales and 75 against.

In Pell City, 1,230 residents voted in favor of Sunday alcohol sales, while 667 residents voted against. Pell City had the largest voter turnout of the three cities that held special elections last week.

Pell City counted only 26 of the total 68 provisional ballots.

Mayor Joe Funderburg said most of the provisional ballots were rejected because voters actually lived outside the city limits.

In Moody, the official count was 370 in favor of Sunday alcohol sales and 189 residents against.

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