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No timeline on when Jemison alcohol sales will start

By Scott Mims

Now that the city of Jemison will go wet, both city leaders and local business owners are preparing for the coming change.

To recap, the results of Tuesday’s special election were as follows: 466 “yes” votes in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages, and 213 “no” votes.

“The people have spoken. They sent a strong message,” Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed said Wednesday.

Reed said the city would work with its attorney and the ABC Board to complete needed paperwork.

The mayor didn’t want to put a timeline on how long that process would take.

“We will not estimate (when alcohol will be sold in Jemison),” Reed said.

Kenny Davis of the State ABC Board said when a municipality goes wet, the council must pass ordinances establishing rules and regulations, and determining what type of licenses will be issued.

In the meantime, business owners will have to decide whether they will sell alcohol in their stores or restaurants. Some say the sale of alcoholic beverages will increase their business.

“I think it’s going to be great for Jemison,” said Sue Bolton, owner of Sue’s Mart on Highway 191.

Bolton said several customers had inquired whether the store would apply for a license or not.

Still, others do not plan to take advantage of the change, such as LaMerle Hamm, owner of Piggly Wiggly on Highway 31.

“I will not sell alcohol in my store. I know what it will do for you. It’s against my Christian beliefs,” Hamm said.

Managing Editor Justin Averette contributed to this report.