City Aldermen Say No to Beer Sales on Sundays and Christmas Day

February 4, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Aldermen Monday night voted unanimously to just say no to city beer sales on Sunday's and Christmas Day.

The Smithville Beer Board, last month, voted to recommend that the city council consider allowing stores with beer permits to sell on Sunday's from one until six p.m. and all day on Christmas Day.

On Monday night, this was the first issue on the agenda and when it was brought up for discussion, Alderman Tonya Sullivan made a motion to leave the beer ordinance as it is and take no action. Alderman Steve White seconded the motion. Aldermen Cecil Burger, Willie Thomas, and Jerry Hutchins Sr. joined Sullivan and White in making the vote unanimous.

Ronnie Dale of the Budweiser Company and K.C. Johnson of the Miller Company both of Cookeville came before the beer board last month to request that Sunday beer sales be considered and they provided some statistics on tax revenue in cities and counties that do and don't permit Sunday sales.

Dale and Johnson claim that Smithville could stand to gain as much as $60,745 in additional tax revenue per year from Sunday beer sales.

Concerned citizen Tim Ferguson Monday night thanked the aldermen for rejecting the beer board's recommendation. "We do appreciate it. To some folks $60,000 is a lot of money, but that's not anything compared to moma's and daddies having to bury their children because somebody hit them because of drinking or the fact that they got it. It's not going to keep it out of people's hands. I'm not naive about the things that go on. But we need to keep something sacred around here and Smithville and DeKalb County doesn't need that. We have something special in Smithville and if we keep working it will get better but we don't need to let stuff come in and rob it."

In other business, the board adopted an ordinance on first reading to change the zoning classification of property at the intersection of Bryant and Murphy Streets with Bright Hill Road from R-2 Medium Density Residential to B-2 General Business. This is the property of the First Assembly of God. Second and final reading action will be scheduled following a public hearing at the next meeting on February 18th at 7:00 p.m.

The members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department met on January 7th for the purpose of electing officers. As per the charter, the city council has to approved the selection of officers and firefighters.

Members of the department as as follows: Chief Charlie Parker, Assistant Chief Robert Eller, Deputy Chief Hoyte Hale, Captain Jeff Wright, Lieutenants Danny Poss, John Poss, and Donnie Cantrell, and Firefighters Anthony Wright, William Brown, Kevin Adcock, Davey Ferrell, Charles Young, Wallace Caldwell, Dusty Johnson, Gary Johnson, James R. Hunt, Stephanie Brown, Stephanie Wright, Joseph Hall, and Photographer Greg Bess.

The aldermen voted unanimously Monday night to approve the list of firefighters and officers.

The city board also voted unanimously to prepare an ordinance to rename Calhoun Street to Bill Bing Drive. Mayor Taft Hendrixson says Bing's daughter, Betty Smith, made the request for the street to be renamed in memory of her father who once owned much of the property in that area for many years. He says Ms Smith and her daughter are the only two individuals who have addresses on Calhoun Street. First reading action will be scheduled at the next meeting on February 18th.

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