Cordova votes to go wet
by Jennifer Cohron
May 01, 2013 | 2670 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CORDOVA — Cordova residents voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to allow the sale of alcohol within the city.

More than 70 percent of the 332 ballots cast in the wet/dry referendum were in favor of the measure. The final tally was 236-96.

Cordova joins Carbon Hill, Dora and Sumiton as municipalities that have gone wet since 2009.

Mayor Drew Gilbert said the turnout, compared to 569 votes cast in the mayoral run-off election in October, was higher than expected considering the lack of feedback from residents leading up to Tuesday.

However, the margin of victory was even more surprising.

“Because I wasn’t hearing a lot of chatter, I expected a lower turnout than what we got and I also expected the election to be a lot closer,” Gilbert said.

The role that alcohol revenue will play in funding the rebuilding of Cordova is still unclear.

Gilbert said the new administration, which has been proactive on a range of issues since November, will be cautiously reacting to the results of Tuesday’s vote.

“This wasn’t something that was on our agenda. We were served with a petition before we took office. So we don’t have a plan for this. We don’t have earmarks for the funds or a plan for what direction we’re going to go with all the laws surrounding it,” Gilbert said.

With only a handful of businesses currently operating in the city limits, Gilbert is not expecting a windfall from alcohol sales.

“We just don’t have the retail right now,” Gilbert said. “Short term, I think it has a minimal impact. Long term, it could play a role in attracting some business.”

The Cordova City Council is expected to canvass the results next week. The next step in the process will be drawing up the ordinance that will regulate alcohol sales.