Voters OK alcohol sales in city
by W. Brian Hale
Jun 08, 2011 | 4423 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kyle Taylor was one of the opponents of a proposed ordinance in Dora that would allow for the sale of alcohol in stores within city limits. Dora citizens voted on the matter during a referendum held Tuesday. - Photo by: David Lazenby
Kyle Taylor was one of the opponents of a proposed ordinance in Dora that would allow for the sale of alcohol in stores within city limits. Dora citizens voted on the matter during a referendum held Tuesday. - Photo by: David Lazenby
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DORA -- The decision was clear from the votes of Dora residents: alcohol sales should be allowed within city limits.

The special referendum vote, which was cast on Tuesday saw 323 (56 percent) of Dora residents deciding for alcohol sales while 254 (44 percent) voted against allowing the referendum.

Mayor Chris Edwards stated he was extremely pleased with the voter turnout and that Dora residents were able to let their voices be heard.

"Together with the absentee and conditional votes, we had nearly 600 votes cast -- which was no where near the amount I expected," Edwards said. "It shows to me that our residents were eager to let us know how they felt on the issue and I'm extremely happy that we had such a good voting turnout. It was one of the key objectives when I took office -- to let the people of Dora's voices be heard on issues and today it happened."

With the passage of the referendum, Edwards said new benefits and options for business can be opened for the city that can bring forth positive economic effects.

"New alcohol sales can bring in revenue into the city that we haven't had in quite a long time -- tax income that can be put into good use for the betterment of the city," Edwards said. "It may not be huge amounts, but when you look at our budget and what we've been hit with over the last two or three years, if you get $1,000 or $2,000 a month in sales tax ... that is going to help us out tremendously. You can look at cities like Jasper and Carbon Hill to see the benefits it brings to a community. It also opens up all new opportunities for businesses who might not have considered us before to potentially move into the city, which in turn will bring in jobs. Even in the case of a new restaurant, it can generate 15 to 20 new jobs that weren't available to us before."

City officials will now have the chance to address parameters for alcohol sales in Dora, such as whether alcohol sales would be limited to off-premise licenses, or if on-premise licenses, such as ones required by restaurants and taverns.

The regularly-scheduled city council that was to take place on Tuesday was re-scheduled for Thursday night at 7 p.m. due to the referendum vote.