Liquor sales booming; Hartselle city council still deciding where to spend revenue

HARTSELLE, Ala. - After years of rallies and elections, the dust has settled, and more than a dozen vendors are now providing liquor.

Hartselle vendors include nine convenience stores, a bowling alley, one liquor store, and five restaurants, and business is booming for people like Johnny Solomon, owner of Hartselle Beverage.

"We've got really positive feedback," Solomon said. "Business has been really good, the community has been really supportive. We've had very few negative comments."

Mayor Randy Garrison says since spring, the city has made $68,508.31, they just haven't yet decided where to spend the money they are making from going wet, but none of it has been touched yet.

"We wanted to kind of get a grasp on how much money we're going to have before we say what we're going to do with it," said Mayor Garrison.

The council wanted to observe liquor sales for nine months to a year, then decide where the money will be best used. Mayor Garrison can make a suggestion, and he has one in mind.

"I still would like to see it spent on infrastructure, paving roads. I would like for people to see what we're doing with it."

He adds that several restaurants in town have seen their business pick up greatly, which means money is being spent in town, versus elsewhere. That goes for restaurants and establishments like Solomon's.

"A lot of people have made the comment they're thankful they don't have to drive to Decatur or surrounding areas to buy [liquor]," he said.

Plus the mayor gets more calls about businesses wanting to move here.

He says the council is likely to make a decision on where to spend the money as they discuss next year's budget.