Gadsden leaders want referendum on Sunday alcohol sales


The legislative session starts this Tuesday and city leaders in Gadsden hope to gain the support of lawmakers when it comes to permitting a referendum on Sunday alcohol sales.In a survey last year, the Chamber of Gadsden and Etowah County found out members were very interested in 7-day alcohol sales. Now in 2014 - an economic impact study is almost complete per the request of a local senator to give lawmakers and citizens more information."It would change my game plan."Cocktails can't be served on Sunday at The Fish Market in Gadsden. General Manger, Charlie Hayes, hopes that will change. "For a small business owner, like myself, it's one more shot out of seven to make some money to provide for your employers and to pay the bills."Chamber President, Heather Brothers New, says dry Sundays have kept some new businesses from opening. "I think we would have more restaurants which would equate to more jobs."New says many businesses want 7 day alcohol sales. The city has passed a resolution requesting a referendum to give people a chance to vote on that.New says "Representative Craig Ford has indicated he would introduce the bill for us, so we feel certain for his support."New says an economic impact study is almost complete - it's something Senator Phil Williams thought was necessary to move forward. Not everyone is in favor of 7 day alcohol sales.John Morris, says, "The city acts like its going to make them more money, but money isn't everything. I think six days of selling alcohol is enough."Senator Williams says, "I think both sides needed to be treated with a great deal of respect than just rhetoric. I've specifically asked for there to be a fact made discussion."New says "Senator Williams has laid an outline for us to be able to educate not only the delegation, but the general public as to why the seven day sale of alcohol would be a beneficial economic impact to our area." And New hopes, the public will be allowed to vote after hearing the outcome.The study is expected to be completed by the end of the month. New says the chamber hopes to have more conversations with Representatives Mack Butler and Becky Nordgren about the bill after they see the results of the study. All four local delegates need to sign the bill out of the committee before it could go to House or Senate for a vote.