Supporters and opponents of Sunday alcohol sales in Heflin voiced their concerns about the issue during a work session Tuesday night.
At next week’s City Council meeting, the council will vote on whether to hold a special election that would let residents vote on Sunday sales.
Heflin city clerk Shane Smith said the city would need approval from the state legislature to hold the vote if the council approves that course of action.
Mayor Rudy Rooks said the decision is up to the council to approve or disapprove.
“We’ll have it on the agenda — so if the council feels like that they want to put it out for the people to vote on it, then they will make a motion that we pass the resolution — if the council passes the resolution it will go to the legislature,” Rooks said.
Keith Roberts, owner of High Country Cellars, has supported Sunday sales for some time.
“For our county, our city to grow, I think that alcohol sales — in a controlled environment and all that — is a very big key to our future if we want this area to ever grow,” Roberts said. Other business owners in attendance also supported Sunday sales for Heflin.
Brent Thompson, senior pastor at the Heflin Baptist Church, was against Sunday sales and said he “respectfully disagrees” with the business owners.
“I represent myself, my family and Heflin Baptist Church — and I represent the Lord Jesus Christ — I respectfully disagree that selling alcohol on Sundays is the pathway to economic growth.” Thompson said he has witnessed the “guardrails” come down concerning alcohol sales in the area.
“If it does go to a citywide vote, you can bet your bottom socks I’m going to beat the drum for everybody I can — to vote it down. It would be frivolous to waste money on a election that even people here said it would not pass. Just don’t do it,” Thompson said.
Thompson pleaded with the council to vote to not petition the legislature.
The council also talked about the ongoing cleanup of downed trees and tree limbs due to the heavy snow that fell Dec. 8. Rooks said there are limbs still needing to be picked up, and the city will get caught up now that the holidays are over.
The council also talked about a resolution that would increase fees in the city’s cemetery because the backhoe service the city uses is increasing their rates. If the council approves the resolution next week, the cost of opening and closing a standard grave will be $600, an increase of $50.
The council will meet next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.