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County approves Sunday alcohol sales

The Escambia County Commission took steps on Monday to approve the sale of alcohol on Sunday in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Sales, which were previously prohibited on Sundays, will now be available on Sunday from 2 a.m. to midnight, based on the vote of the commission members.

Commissioner Brandon Smith said the step would help to ‘level the field’ for those businesses not in any of the county’s municipalities.

“This has been a hot topic over the years,” Smith said. “A lot of these mom and pop operations have been suffering since Sunday sales have been approved in municipalities. This will be a benefit to them and put them on a level playing field in rural areas.”

Chairman Raymond Wiggins said the somewhat recent approval of Sunday alcohol sales in the municipal areas of the county have prompted this vote by the commission.

“Right now, you can buy alcohol on Sundays in the cities in our county,” Wiggins said. “This will now allow stores in the rural areas to sell alcohol as well.”

The sale of alcohol

In other business, the commission:

• approved a levie for seven new types of licesnes from the Alabama Beverage Control Board. County Administrator Tony Sanks provided information on the new licesenes approved by ABC. The commission voted to recognize those licensees with the same fee schedule as other alcohol providers and sellers in the county as is paid for a state license. The new licenses are now in place for Wine Festival, Wine Festival participant, Direct Wine Shipper, Wine Fulfillment Center, Additional Wine Fulfillment Center, Delivery Service and In-State Winery Off-Site Tasting permits.

• passed a resolution authorizing participatin in the Investing in Alabama Counties program in the state. Sanks explained the participation will allow the county to maintain compliance with spending funds provided by the American Recovery Plan at the Federal level. Although the commission will make decisions on spending, the program will help to determine the most beneficial uses of the funding and will narrow the focus for counties involved in the program.