FORT PAYNE, Ala. - The city of Fort Payne is moving towards alcohol sales on Sundays and it was a vote determined by the city council instead of residents.
Many local businesses approached the Fort Payne City Council for consideration of alcohol sales on Sunday. It's been a hot topic in Fort Payne for quite some time. "There was a bill written up to go to Montgomery to be approved," says Mayor Larry Chesser.
The bill, drafted by the council, made arrangements for either a vote by the citizens through an election or a vote by the board, with the board leaning heavily toward a vote by residents. "Our legislators came back and said that every bill that they had introduced had been strictly council approved only and that they recommended that's the way they should do it," says Mayor Chesser.
The Sunday sales resolution passed with a 3:2 vote at the last city council meeting. "The two that voted against it were the two that originally wanted a referendum."
Factors like Fort Payne's heavy involvement in tourism and the need for growth were just a couple of the reasons behind the decision. "When it comes to commercial development, we'll be talking to various developers," says Mayor Chesser. "If you're talking about a hotel or certain restaurants or what have you, it's just a given that they want Sunday sales."
The city council is hoping alcohol sales on Sunday is satisfying their current businesses and a step to bringing in so much more. State lawmakers will vote in the next session on whether Fort Payne's bill for alcohol sales on Sunday will pass.