The Lineville City Council met Monday, April 2, 2018 with all members present.
Presentations were made to the Council in the Planning Session by Rick Stratton representing his law firm, Beasley-Allen, who is representing several Alabama counties and cities in a class action lawsuit opiod abuse case, urging the city of Lineville to get on board and enter into litigation with the lawsuit. Mayor Adamson said that since they had literally just received the contract via email just a few minutes before the meeting, that the council would have to discuss it and get back to him. For more information on this lawsuit, click here: http://www.beasleyallen.com/matter/opioids/
Representing Ron’s One Stop located at 89372 Hwy 9 in Lineville, Renee Houston addressed the Council in opposition of the opening of an ABC store in Lineville. Houston handed out an information packet to all the council members with literature and figures. Houston pointed out that Ron’s One Stop had paid the city $15,329.11 in city sales tax over the past 11 months since the store opened. Based on these figures, Houston went on to say that the city would lose approximately $350,000-$400,000 over a ten year period with an ABC store because the state was not required to pay the same city taxes.
Houston said that not only were they highly opposed to the opening of an ABC store, but they were also asking the city to also voice their opposition as well. “Although the coming of the ABC store may look like a good thing for the city, that it is not based on just the fact that the state isn’t obligated to pay the same city taxes that we pay. We feel like with an ABC store coming in, it would not bring any jobs in, and they would more than likely staff one person who would manage and operate the store. We would have to close our package store because we already get our inventory from the ABC store and even just this month our purchases have already decreased because we are afraid of getting stuck with all the inventory. The ABC store in Talladega already makes it impossible for all the surrounding package stores to operate efficiently and that’s just one example. We just don’t think it would be good for the city. Our employees are worried about losing their positions and we are worried about having to close out doors and we are really concerned about the city ultimately losing money. We feel like there were a lot of citizens who voted for alcohol sales into the city based on the revenue it would bring in and this would not be the case if ABC comes in”, said Houston.
Adamson responded to Houston: “As long as I have been here and as long as I have been around the city, I have never known the city the right to deny a legal business coming in and from my understanding, that contract is already signed and done. The state has not contacted us in any shape, form or fashion on this matter. They’ve been working with a private citizen on that and I haven’t seen a contract, but it’s supposedly already signed and they are already working on the store, so again, I don’t see the right to step in at this point in time. That’s the state of Alabama and we have never denied anybody the right to do a legal business in the city just so we can give another business exclusive rights. “
Houston went on to say that it wasn’t just about the competition. ” You’re talking about a state-operated business in a city this size. All of our purchases already come from the state. No one else on the inside would be able to compete, it would be a monopoly in that area. Our sole intention for being here is not to ask that you deny anyone the right to open a business, we just want to make sure that everyone is aware that its not just us that is going to suffer, the city as a whole is going to suffer. “
Adamson said he felt that with the amount of hours the ABC store would be open, plus closing one day a week , that he felt Ron’s wouldn’t have a lot to worry about as far as a loss in revenue and the council members were all in agreement.
This concluded the presentation. Later, Adamson also stated that after doing some research on this matter, he discovered that the State will pay 2% fee in lieu of tax of their gross sales to the city. Adamson reported the city of Wedowee received approximately $21,000 last year from their ABC Store as a result of their gross sales.
In other business, the Council accepted the resignation of Jarrid Griffin from the Park Board, leaving a vacant spot. The vote was unanimous.
The Council also voted to participate in the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday which will take place on the weekend of July 20-22, 2018.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.