Alcohol sales vote may have to wait

Published 7:15 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Just days after the Alabama Legislature approved the bill allowing towns in dry counties to hold alcohol sales referendums, the city of Jemison was closing in on establishing a date.

The city had collected enough names on a petition and seemed to have everything in line to schedule a referendum in just a few months.

That no longer seems to be the case. According to city leaders, a vote may have to wait until June 1, 2010.

“We’ve seen some opinions that lead us to believe that we cannot call a special election. But we’ve heard of some other towns affected by this bill that are moving ahead,” Jemison city clerk Mary Ellison said. “Right now, we are still working on it.”

The June 1, 2010 election is the next state or municipal election on the calendar. This is when voters will take part in the Democrat and Republican Party primaries.

“If there was a decision today, we’d have to wait on June 1,” Ellison said. “We would love to have it a lot sooner than that.”

Ellison said a specially called municipal election would cost the city an estimated $3,500.

She was not certain on how much it would cost to add the item to the primary election ballots.

As part of the bill, a city or town must collect a number of signatures on a petition equaling at least 30 percent of the number of voters who participated in the last election. For Jemison, the total needed was 220.

According to Ellison, the city has already collected well over 400 signatures and is collecting more each day.