City Council: Alcohol sales now officially OK on Sundays in Anniston
by Paige Rentz
May 15, 2013 | 18494 views |  0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Terry Paschal restocks the shelves with wine and microbrewery beer at the Wine Cellar in Anniston. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
Terry Paschal restocks the shelves with wine and microbrewery beer at the Wine Cellar in Anniston. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
As soon as this weekend, Anniston residents could be sipping cocktails with their Sunday brunch or picking up a six-pack of beer as they stock up on groceries for the week.

The Anniston City Council approved Tuesday new Sunday sales regulations for the Model City, allowing on-premises sales beginning at 11 a.m. and off-premises sales beginning at noon at all properly licensed establishments.

Some local business owners are eager for the new measure to take effect.

“I’ll be open on Sunday, absolutely,” said Terry Paschal, owner of the Wine Cellar on Quintard Avenue.

The ordinance takes effect upon newspaper publication, which should happen on Saturday, meaning the new hours would be in effect this weekend, according to Anniston City Clerk Alan Atkinson.

“I think it’s a good thing for business for the town,” he said Tuesday afternoon. Paschal noted the number of out-of-towners coming into Anniston, whether they’re here for training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness, for races at Talladega, for cycling events or trails, or just on business

“A lot of them come from areas that have Sunday sales and they can’t understand why you can’t get things here on Sunday,” he said.

Janet Tyson Prosser, owner of Tyson Fine Wines and Things, said spending six days at her shop is enough for her business, but the measure would make it easier to accommodate the needs of her customers.

“My plan is to stay closed but if it was a special occasion or a special circumstance I wouldn’t mind coming down here…Otherwise I’m going to stay home and do my laundry and clean my house.”

Rodney Snider, CEO of Cheaha Brewing Co., a soon-to-open brewpub in Anniston’s downtown, said he thinks the measure will help draw people to Anniston.

Brewpubs and breweries, he said, have become a destination for enthusiasts, with many organizations now leading tours of breweries. Most of those trips, he said, tend to happen over the weekend, so Sunday sales would likely increase the opportunities for tours and tastings.

Councilwoman Millie Harris said she and her colleagues on the council did not take the decision lightly. She said talking with restaurant owners who have large Sunday brunch crowds led to the effort to help draw business to the city’s restaurants as well as give a boost to the city’s grocery stores.

“We need to help our local people and that’s what we’re trying to do,” she said.

The measure comes after an enabling bill’s rocky passage through the state Legislature ended April 30, when Gov. Robert Bentley signed the measure into law.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilman Seyram Selase thanked state officials for approving the measure and the public for getting behind the idea.

“I just want to thank you guys for your calls, putting pressure on the Legislature, putting pressure on us,” he said.

For the Sunday sales measure as well as future projects, he said, consistency is the key.

“That’s what made this happen,” he said. “Consistency from us, consistency from you, and that’s what it’s going to take to continue to transform this community.”

In other business, the council:

-- Reduced the speed limit on Noble Street between Eighth and 15th streets from 30 mph to 20 mph.

-- Passed an ordinance further defining a rental-housing unit for the Rental Housing Health and Safety Ordinance.

-- Reimbursed city employees for expenses incurred while attending out-of-town conferences.

-- Declared a number of vehicles public nuisances.

-- Declared trash and debris at 3510 Dale Hollow Road to be a public nuisance.

-- Appointed Tim Garner of Ward 1 to the McClellan Development Authority with a term ending March 9, 2016.

-- Appointed William (Scott) Burleson to the Public Building Authority to fill the unexpired term of Jim Miller ending May 31, 2018.

[BULLET] Authorized submission of projects to the third round of grant funding for the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program.

[BULLET] Authorized Stewart to execute a $12,500 agreement with East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission for an analysis of impediments to fair housing for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

-- Authorized Stewart to execute a contract with ACP Greene Associates for consulting on the city's strategic plan.

-- Approved a restaurant retail liquor application for The J Café on Alabama 202.

-- Awarded a contract for asbestos abatement and demolition of the McClellan Theater to Holmes II Excavation Inc.

-- Awarded a 60-month lease-purchase agreement with Heavy Machinery & Tractor Co. for a $21,573.50 tractor/backhoe/loader for the Parks and Recreation Department.

-- Awarded the sale of real property located at 2006 McCoy Ave. to Larry B. Holcombe of Faith Connection Worship Center for $3,000.

Staff writer Paige Rentz: 256-235-3564. On Twitter @PRentz_Star.

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