Jemison to vote on wet/dry

Published 5:50 pm Friday, January 8, 2010

Voters in Jemison will decide Tuesday whether or not they want alcoholic beverages to be sold in the city.

The poll will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Jemison Fire Station located on Main Street. Only voters living within Jemison city limits may participate in the special election.

“It’s a decision we want the people to decide. It’s not something the council is trying to push,” Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed said.

The election was made possible by a new state law allowing municipalities with a population of 1,000 or more to hold a wet/dry referendum.

Recently, a petition was presented to the council with signatures from 230 registered voters from Jemison, slightly more than the required 30 percent of voters in the last municipal election.

The petition also contained several signatures from residents who were not registered voters.

If the city goes wet, Reed said, the resulting tax revenue could offset other potential tax increases. The sales tax on alcohol, he stressed, would be paid only by those who choose to buy alcoholic products.

Aside from bringing new business into the city, Reed said the revenue could also help Jemison provide better police protection and other services.

“It’s a matter of economics. That’s our major concern,” he said.

The question on the ballot will appear as follows: “Do you favor the legal sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages within the city limits of Jemison, Alabama?”

Voters will then mark either “Yes” or “No.”