Pelham Business Council discusses lack of Sunday alcohol sales

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2015

City Council member Ron Scott discussed the economic impact the lack of Sunday alcohol sales has on the city of Pelham. (Reporter Photo / Jessa Pease)

City Council member Ron Scott discussed the economic impact the lack of Sunday alcohol sales has on the city of Pelham. (Reporter Photo / Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer 

PELHAM— The lack of alcohol sales on Sundays in Pelham is taking an economic toll on the city, according to City Council member Ron Scott. He addressed the issue at the July 21 Pelham Business Council meeting at the civic center.

“The biggest hurtle we have hit recently in recruiting business to Pelham is Sunday (alcohol) sales,” Scott said, explaining that while Pelham is a pro-business city with both existing buildings and land to build on, some franchise type restaurants cannot survive without Sunday afternoon and evening sales.

It affects the community even more, he said, because Pelham has a 1 percent tax that goes to the schools. Scott said that every time people travel north to Jefferson County on Sunday after church, it “short changes the community and our children.”

There are things in motion that could change the fate of Sunday alcohol sales, not only in Pelham but also in all of Shelby County. Scott said there is a piece of legislature that will allow a countywide vote on the issue.

“We have an opportunity with this economic issue to change the potential for dinning venues and potential for major league name hotels in the county,” Scott said. “I think it will significantly grow what you see up and down the I-65 corridor of Shelby County.”

Because this decision would change the state constitution, voting on this countywide issue cannot take place until there is a statewide ballot. The next upcoming vote will be sometime in March when citizens will vote in the presidential primaries.

Also at the meeting, Pelham Mayor Gary Waters spoke about the recent accidents in Pelham, commending the fire and police departments on a job well done, and about the success of Pelham Palooza.

Pelham City Council president Rick Hayes gave the audience an update on the city council, touching on the possible new lodging tax, the three current road projects and the Greenway project. He said he believes they will begin phase one of that project in the upcoming year.

Rick Rhoades, president of the board of education, also gave an update during the meeting. After about one year of being its own district, Pelham has already broken ground and started on the foundation of the new elementary school and is in the procession of starting on a middle school.

The business council also heard from Police Chief Larry Palmer, Fire Chief Deputy Blair Sides, Maurice Mercer and Debbie Parrot among others.