If approved, Sheri’s would become the first business to sell alcohol since city residents voted to go wet earlier this year. The proprietors are seeking permission to sell beer and wine.
The council conducted a public hearing on the matter Tuesday night. A vote is expected at the Dec. 10 meeting.
Police chief Nick Smith said he has reviewed the application as required by the city’s new alcohol ordinance and has been in contact with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
“They advised me that the background check with the ABI and FBI could take about two to three months,” Smith said.
Smith said the council is allowed to issue an alcohol license to Sheri’s before the results of the background check are received and has the right to revoke the license later if necessary.
Mayor Drew Gilbert said an investigation by Smith is the only hurdle that applicants must clear, according to the ordinance recently passed by the city.
“From there, we don’t really have anything else in our ordinance from a city standpoint. Obviously, if there is anything larger than us, ABI is going to inform us of it at a point in the future,” Gilbert said.
During the public hearing, one resident expressed concern about issuing an alcohol license to Sheri’s because of rumored price gouging during the April 2011 tornadoes.
Owner Thomas Chamblee said he was notified that a complaint was filed, but there was no evidence to support it.
“We never did price gouge. During that whole time, our price never changed more than two cents. Once they make a state of emergency, in order to be guilty of price gouging you have to increase your price by more than 30 percent. We never did that. They (state officials) did come around and they did ask about that, and I told them, ‘Ask any of those people in line what they paid yesterday,’” Chamblee said.
No other opposition was voiced during the hearing.
If the council approves the license on Dec. 10, Sheri’s would be allowed to begin selling alcohol immediately.