Anna Council approves Sunday alcohol sales

The sale of beverages containing alcohol could begin as soon as noon this Sunday in Anna.

Alcohol sales on Sunday will be allowed as the result of passage of a new liquor ordinance. Such sales have not been allowed in Union County's largest community for many years.

The ordinance was approved by a 3-2 vote at this week's regular meeting of the Anna City Council.

The meeting was held Tuesday evening at Anna City Hall.

The city council had been considering a new liquor ordinance since late last year.

About 25 to 30 people were on hand for Tuesday's meeting.

One of those attending the meeting was Mark Roath, the pastor of Anna Heights Baptist Church in Anna. Roath was on the agenda and voiced his concerns about the issue.

Roath urged the council to reject the sale of alcohol on Sunday. Allowing such sales, he said, would "add to the mess that already exists" in society.

He declared that the sale of alcohol on Sunday was not a matter of generating revenue – instead, it is a matter of principle.

"I implore you to make a stand for principles," Roath said.

Ordinance 2012-01, the city's new liquor ordinance, was the second item under new business on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting. The ordinance was drafted by city attorney John Foley.

Mayor Jim Cross asked council members to share their thoughts on the issue.

"I feel it is a moral issue," council member Martha Ann Webb said. Webb said she did not want to see the sale of alcohol on Sundays.

Webb said that most of the people who had contacted her about the issue also were against Sunday sales.

Council member David Isom questioned the potential benefits of Sunday sales in terms of revenue which could be generated for the city. Isom said he though such benefits would be minimal.

Council member Al Kamp said that of the people who had contacted him about the issue, more were in support of Sunday sales than were against them.

Council member Michael Bigler said he saw the issue as a legal matter and not one about religion.

After council members discussed the issue, they voted on the new liquor ordinance.

Mayor Cross, Bigler and Kamp voted in favor of the ordinance. Isom and Webb voted no.

The ordinance also sets increased fees for liquor licenses starting in 2013.

Projects Updated

In other business at Tuesday's meeting:

City administrator Steve Guined shared an update with the council on three major projects which are planned in Anna during 2012.

The projects which are scheduled to begin, and be completed, during the year include:

•A $1.2 million water system improvement project.

•A $600,000 improve-ment project along East Davie Street.

•A $650,000 renovation project involving the city's sewer system.

Guined said that funding sources for the projects include city resources, grants and low-interest loans.

<strong>Budget Work Underway</strong>

Guined reported that work is underway on preparing the city's budget for a new fiscal year which begins May 1.

The city administrator is welcoming input from council members on the new budget. The budget will be discussed at a meeting of city department heads which is planned for this Friday.

<strong>Public Nuisances</strong>

City clerk Chris Jones presented an update on progress which has been made in cleaning up public nuisance sites in the community during the past six months.

Jones reported on action which has resulted in the clean-up of five sites in Anna. On one of the former public nuisance sites, a Habitat for Humanity home has been built.

While positive developments have occurred, many other public nuisance sites remain in the community. The city is continuing to move forward with the clean up of such problems.

<strong>Concerns About Litter</strong>

Concerns about litter and trash in the community were discussed after being raised by council member Webb.

Webb said she sees litter throughout Anna and would like to see action taken to clean up the community.

She proposed working with students, clubs, organizations and other interested persons on taking action.

City administrator Guined noted that about $20,000 a year is now being spent to pick up litter and trash in Anna.

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