MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Two Elmore County cities are once again gearing up to ask local legislators to sponsor bills that will allow draft beer and Sunday alcohol sales within city limits.
Both Millbrook and Wetumpka have attempted the move numerous times, but approval has always stalled during the legislative session mostly due to disputes in language.
In 2014, Wetumpka and Millbrook attempted to pursue legislation together with both citys' names appearing on the same bills. The bills would allow restaurants within the city limits to sell draft beer and would allow restaurants, hotels and nightclubs to sell liquor on premises from noon to 9:30 p.m. Sundays, with an extension to midnight on occasions when Dec. 31 falls on a Sunday.
The legislation was sponsored by then-Sen. Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville, in March 2014, authorizing the councils in the two cities to sell draft beer, but specifically excluded the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, who operate a casino in Wetumpka.
Taylor's legislation was opposed by Rep. Paul Beckman, R-Prattville, and the mayors of the cities, who were particularly concerned by the exclusionary language in the bill.
Now the two cities are regrouping with Millbrook making the first move. The Millbrook City Council passed resolutions in October that again asked the local delegation to sponsor legislation to allow draft beer and Sunday alcohol sales.
"It's the same as far as the bill is concerned," said Millbrook Mayor Al Kelley. "Each representative has seen it and has initialed off on it. Hopefully it will work."
The resolution again only accounts for restaurants, hotels and night clubs within the city limits, allows sales on-premise only and has the same time limits.
Kelley has stated numerous times the reason for pursuing the matter is to allow their local businesses to be on par with neighboring Prattville and Montgomery. Both cities already allow draft beer and Sunday alcohol sales
Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis recently shared the same sentiment.
"It's something our restaurant owners and business people have requested," he said. "There's no reason the playing field should not be level."
Willis said the Wetumpka City Council will formally consider the decision in a future meeting. He anticipates the topic to come up "very soon."
Willis also said it was a mutual decision for the cities to pursue the legislation separately, saying they "didn't want to stand in each other's way
Information from: Montgomery Advertiser, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com
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