Council: No bars in city
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
There will be no honky-tonkin' in Hartselle.
You can forget about juke-joint jumping, bar-hoppin' or go-go dancin', either, at least if the Hartselle City Council has any say about it and, according to Alabama law, they've got plenty.
Council members are eyeing a slate of regulations that they may adopt before Hartselle's Nov. 5 wet-dry referendum. Alabama law allows the council to adopt "reasonable" restrictions on where, when and how alcohol is sold in the city.
The goal, council members said, is to preserve the city's character while still providing much-needed revenue.
"We as a council aren't here to make wild beer joints," Councilman Dick Carter said. "We're looking at ways to increase revenue. When you can stand at our city limits and throw a rock to the nearest place where you can buy alcohol you need to face it – you're wet."
Regulations could include the size of establishment where alcohol sales would be allowed; if that establishment serves food or not; and where advertising for alcoholic beverages would be allowed.
By putting the regulations in place, Councilman Frank Carter said the city would have control over alcohol sales.
"You can control it is we have it here. You can't control it in Decatur of Priceville. We're already wet, it's just a matter of whose getting the revenue," Jones said.
While it considers regulations – including a slate proposed by the Hartselle Ministerial Association – the city shouldn't forget the business owners who could benefit from alcohol sales, according to Jim Holland, owner of Main Street Bistro, a restaurant in downtown Hartselle.
" If you restrict it to the point where no one can sell it, (the city is) not going to get anything out of it," Holland said. " Most people drink responsibly and most merchants sell responsibly."