BOAZ, Ala. — Results show Boaz will remain dry on Sunday after voters went the polls on Tuesday. 355 said no, while 342 voted for yes. That’s a difference of 13 votes.
The election was held at the Boaz Recreation Center on King Street. Polls closed at 7:00 p.m.
The city said this is how the question appeared on the ballot:
“Do you favor the legal sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages within the City of Boaz, Alabama on Sundays as further provided for and regulated by ordinance of the municipal governing body? Yes______ No______”
Boaz is a wet city, but the sale and distribution of alcohol are not permitted on Sundays at this time.
Mayor David Dyar said the city wasn’t expecting a high turnout for this election. He predicted 500-600 people would cast a ballot. The total ended up to be 697. This is the second time Boaz has taken the issue of Sunday sales to a vote. The measure was defeated in 2015 by a decent margin.
Dyar said the vote now gives him some direction on how to recruit businesses to locate within the city.
“I was just proud the community came out and expressed their opinion,” said Mayor Dyar after the results came in on Tuesday. “It’ll give us some direction. We’ll go to work tomorrow just as hard as if it went the other way, but it gives us some direction. We’ll focus on those establishments that don’t need Sunday alcohol sales, whether it be a grocery store or a sit-down restaurant.”
Some voters said they did not want Sunday sales for religious reasons.
“I’m a Christian,” said Mickey Monroe. He has been living in Boaz for 35 years. “I don’t believe in drinking. And I don’t see that the city would really gain that much financially just on Sunday.”
Miranda McDowell said she came out to do her duty as a citizen and cast a vote for what she believes in: “I do believe that the Lord’s day on a Sunday should be held as the Sabbath day and that it should be kept holy.”
She added that she doesn’t want to condemn anyone for drinking, but she thinks family values should prevail on Sundays.
“I feel like Sunday should be a safe day for families to go out and spend time together. They should be able to do that without the public sales of alcohol and the influences that it could have on the community on that day,” she added.
Phil Green doesn’t drink at all, but he said he voted for Sunday sales because he believes in freedom.
“Of course, I don’t want people drinking to excess where they can’t drive safe,” he said, “but it’s people’s freedom. It makes jobs.”
Marla Painter said she voted for the Sunday sales because she’s concerned about her community.
“I know people who, if they want to go to eat, they’re not going to Boaz. They’re going to Albertville or to Sardis,” she said. “This can help the economy of Boaz, and help grow Boaz.”
She believes Sunday sales can provide more businesses to visit in Boaz.
“I think then we would have more options as far as places we can go out to eat, just because of the businesses that do serve alcohol that aren’t coming to Boaz,” she said. “It all falls back just to the economy and getting businesses and getting money in Boaz. I think it would hurt if it failed again.”
Dana Smith felt along those lines too. “I think there’s a time for change, and if we don’t adapt to change you’re not going to grow,” she said.
If the measure failed, Smith said she wouldn’t take it badly.
“It’s not the end of the world. People voted it no– the next time maybe it’ll be yes. So it’s not like ‘Oh my goodness! It didn’t go through!’ It’s not a life or death situation.”
Mayor Dyar said if Boaz is disadvantaged in business recruitment as a result of lacking Sunday sales, they’ll make up for it in other ways as they continue to go to work to grow the city.
“I believe hard work will compensate for that disadvantage,” he said.