Council approves to place Wet/Dry Referendum on ballot

The Rainsville City Council approved Resolution 6-15-2020 (B) regarding the wet/dry referendum during Monday night's meeting.

Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt said wet/dry petitions were submitted to the city of Rainsville, and the city has inspected all of those to verify all are on the voters' lists and live within the city limits, among other requirements.

The petitions read: “To the Mayor and City Council of the City of Rainsville, Alabama: ‘It is petitioned that a municipal option election be held at the same time of the August 2020 election to permit the legal sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages within the municipality of Rainsville as provided under Section 28-2A-1 of Code of Alabama, 1975 as amended.”

Per Alabama law, any municipality with a population of 1,000 or more is allowed to vote on whether to go “wet” by a municipal option election.

Lingerfelt said at least 30 percent of citizens voting in the last preceding general election are required to submit petitions to the city for any referendum to take place.

“The number they had to get was 473. They got 494 and they have all been certified,” he said.

Councilman Marshall Steifel said he checked and verified it was a legitimate petition.

“I feel like they have a constitutional right to have it presented to the council and put it on the ballot. Therefore, I will honor it. I just want to let it be known and let the people know I myself looked at it, and I personally will vote against it, but they have the right to put it on there,” said Steifel.

Lingerfelt said everybody does have the right to vote and their vote puts it on their municipal election ballot given the citizens of Rainsville the right to vote on it at that time.

“They used the First Amendment right, and we work for the people. [So,] we put it on there and let the people vote and if it goes, it goes. If it doesn’t, then it’s business as usual,” said Councilman Derek Rosson.

The council put it up for a vote, and the Resolution 6-15-2020 (B) passed unanimously and will be placed on the ballot for the next municipal elections scheduled for August 25.

If the referendum in August passes, Rainsville will join the three “wet” cities of Fort Payne, Henagar and Collinsville in DeKalb County.

The council also approved the purchase of 16 acres of land adjoining the Rainsville Field of Dreams Sports Complex for $160,000.

Councilman Brandon Freeman said the purchase of the land had been an ongoing topic of interest for years that has led them to this point.

The new purchase would provide the city with the capability of future expansion at the Field of Dreams.

The council also heard updates from the following departments and councilmen:

Rainsville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandy Goff provided the council with a brief update on Rainsville’s upcoming Freedom Fest scheduled for June 27, at 1 p.m.

Goff said she has been working on the event entertainment lineup and advertising. Little Texas is set to take the stage from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., following various local artists.

Councilman Bejan Taheri invited the public to come out and “have fun.”

The council also:

• approved to repair the damaged sewer manhole in front of Carpet Center and Edward Jones at $2,000.00 from Boozer Construction.

• approved the purchase of 100 garbage cans from Toter at $5,662.35 for the Sanitation Department.

• approved Resolution 6-15-2020(A) pertaining to the 2020 Official Poll Workers list for the upcoming municipal election.

• approved Ordinance 6-15-2020 regarding the annexation of Autumn Creek Subdivision. Along with the ordinance, the council also accepted the street to the subdivision named Autumn Lane, which will provide residents with a new 911 address to go along with everything else.

• accepted resignations of Dean White and Tim Devlin from the Rainsville Police Department effective 6-23-2020.

• approved to post two patrolman positions at the Rainsville Police Department.

• approved to hire Joey Walden at the Rainsville Fire Department with a starting date of July 1 with a 90-day probationary period at $12.29 an hour.

• approved Resolution 6-15-2020 (C) - pertaining to the TAP Project application that would see the construction of a sidewalk from Foodland to Cornerstone Christian Academy. The resolution gives the go-ahead to sign and send the grant application, which has a deadline of July 1.

• approved to pay $2,000 for the addition of a protective shield at the Rainsville Public Library. The total cost was $4,500; however, general funds provided by DeKalb County Commission funded $2,500 of the total cost.

The next council meeting is scheduled for July 6, 2020, with a workshop at 4:15 p.m. and a regular session at 5 p.m.

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