HANCEVILLE, AL (WBRC) - A big vote could change the stance on alcohol in Hanceville in Cullman County.
If folks want to buy beer, wine or alcohol they have to go package stores in surrounding counties such as Warrior in Jefferson County. Eddie Hamm, a Hanceville businessman wants to change that with a vote on legalizing alcohol sales in the city. "The revenue is going around the county. It's not going into the county. I think it's time," Hamm said.
Last week the Hanceville city council called for a referendum election set for March 2nd. The council did not wait until the June primary vote. Mayor Kenneth Nail says his city would benefit from additional revenue from taxes on alcohol sales. Nail is not taking a position on the referendum. Nail says the council did believe it would have been better for the voter to set the referendum for March rather than wait until June.
"Council felt there would be confusion in June. We have some people in Hanceville who live outside of the city. I think that might have created some confusion," Nail said.
The cost of the referendum could be up to $7,000. It will be a shorter time to set up the vote but City Clerk Tania Wilcox says the city will be ready. "For me it's getting your priorities lined up. Getting your slips lined up, who you need to contact. People you have to get source materials from." Wilcox said.
There will be strong opposition. Pastor Terry Phillips of the First Baptist Church of Hanceville says his church other church members will be campaigning against the referendum. "For the Christian people, I vote not the conscience but the scriptures. The scripture preaches abstaining from alcohol. That is the stand we have taken as Baptists," Phillips said.