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Alcohol issue clears hurdle

By Staff
Resolution passed asking for local authority
Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
The sale of alcohol on Sunday in the city of Madison could become a reality as early as this spring.
The Madison City Council is now one step closer to getting that authority. On Monday, the city council passed a resolution asking the local legislative delegation in Montgomery to pass a local act that would give Madison the authority to regulate Sunday alcohol sales. Prior to the passage of the resolution, a public hearing was held to allow the community to voice its opinion on the issue. Madison resident Jim Raby told the council that he sees no harm in Sunday alcohol sales. He noted that since the city gave its approval for Applebee's restaurant to open for business eight years ago on Hughes Road, it was a good decision then and it's a good decision now.
Two weeks ago, Madison Revenue Department Director Cameron Grounds said the city could net an additional $20,000 a year in sales tax revenues if Sunday alcohol sales were approved. Council member Cynthia McCollum said she spoke to a Madison resident several days ago who was purchasing alcohol on Sunday in Huntsville and said the resident told her it would be good if she could do the same thing in Madison.
"Not only was that person I was talking with buying alcohol on Sunday, but she was also purchasing other items as well," McCollum said. "Madison needs to be on the same playing field as Huntsville."
As of now, the city of Madison does not have the authority to let businesses sell alcohol on Sunday. City Attorney Anne-Marie Lacy suggested that the city seek a local bill similar to Huntsville's to move the measure through. Members of the Madison County House delegation are discussing allowing every incorporated town in the county, as well as the Madison County Commission, have the authority to approve and regulate Sunday alcohol sales.
The next legislative session will begin in March.

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