CHILDERSBURG, Ala. – On Tuesday, the people of Childersburg will vote in a special election to approve Sunday alcohol sales or continue to outlaw the sale of alcohol inside the city limits.
On March 21, the Childersburg City Council approved a resolution for the special election to allow alcohol sales after 1 p.m.
The resolution was could have originally been approved or denied by the Council, but Mayor Ken Wesson holds the conviction that the people of Childersburg should make this decision by voting.
In 2015 the Sylacauga held an election and the people approved Sunday alcohol sales in the city which, according to President and CEO of the Greater Coosa Valley Chamber of Commerce Tom Roberts, is a reason why this election is being held in Childersburg.
“From a business perspective, people understand that someone is getting money on [Sunday alcohol] purchases, and it’s not Childersburg,” Roberts said. “That is a factor for a lot of folks.”
Wesson said he was originally approached by merchants in the city who feel like they are competing on an unlevel playing field with businesses in other municipalities.
Roberts explained that people from Childersburg and the surrounding areas have to leave and go spend their tax revenue generating money in other cities because it is unlawful to sell alcohol on Sundays in Childersburg. Roberts reminisced on a time where Goodwater, a small Coosa County town on Hwy. 280 east, was the only town where people could purchase their beverage of choice on a Sunday and said the town benefited greatly from enabling Sunday sales.
“Other cities began to sell alcohol on Sundays because people wanted their share.” he explained.
Watching other communities benefit from the matter has intrigued Roberts. He told SylacaugaNews.com that Todd Freeman, former Superintendent of Sylacauga City Schools, told him the Sylacauga City School system saw a significant increase in funds from Sunday alcohol sales.
Wesson, however, does not believe the financial impact will be a “game changer” just from selling alcohol, but said the sale of alcohol on Sunday is a player when convincing new merchants to come to the city. “Some won’t even consider coming without Sunday sales, and its a regular question that comes up,” Wesson said. “I can’t say it will kill a deal, but I know it will enhance our chances if it means that much to businesses.”
Roberts will not be voting in the election as he lives just outside of Childersburg, but he will be watching the election closely.
After record low turnouts in the recent primary elections, will Childersburg’s special election have a low turn out too? In Sylacauga’s Sunday alcohol sales vote in 2015, roughly 1,000 people voted, less than 10 percent of the city’s population. Regardless of the outcome, Roberts is hoping everyone votes to put and end to the matter. “People just need to go vote,” he said.
Polls in Childersburg will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.