Athens City Council to hold public hearing on Sunday alcohol sales – The Decatur Daily

ATHENS — Athens residents will be able to address the Athens City Council on Monday night about a proposed change in the city’s alcohol ordinance that would allow Sunday alcohol sales.

“This is strictly a public hearing,” said Mayor Ronnie Marks. “There will be no vote.”

“My goal is for us to introduce” the amended ordinance Monday night, said Council President Joseph Cannon, “and vote on it at the next council meeting.”

The proposal, Cannon said, would make Athens’ alcohol sales consistent with nearby cities. “It would give businesses a choice” on whether to offer alcohol on Sunday, Cannon said. He believes that, even if the council were to vote to legalize Sunday sales, some businesses that sell alcohol six days a week might still decide not to sell on Sunday.

Teresa Todd, president of the Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association Inc., asked the council earlier this month to approve Sunday alcohol sales, saying it would encourage more travelers to stay overnight in Athens and patronize its hotels and restaurants.

“We don’t want to lose travelers to other communities,” like Decatur, Florence and Huntsville that allow Sunday sales, she said last week.

David Cox, evangelist at Market Street Church of Christ, said he’s opposed to alcohol sales any day of the week. Alcohol has a cost to society, he said. “It destroys relationships, it tears families apart, it leads to domestic violence.”

The city legalized alcohol sales in 2003. The current ordinance prohibits sales of liquor, wine or beer between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and between the hours of 2 a.m. on Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday.

The City Council, in a unanimous vote in January,

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