Verona considers Sunday beer sales

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

VERONA – A public hearing will be scheduled for Verona residents to weigh in on the possibility of new Sunday beer sales.
The Verona Board of Aldermen approved a measure at a board meeting last week for city attorney Gary Carnathan to draw up an ordinance that will make beer sales legal on Sundays.
After the ordinance is drawn up and a public hearing is held, the board will vote on whether or not they approve the ordinance.
The vote of 3-2 will allow beer to be sold between 1 p.m. and midnight at grocery and convenience stores, according to Mayor Bobby Williams.
Aldermen Julian Riley, Margaret Baker and Brenda Spurgon voted in favor of the beer sales; the plan was opposed by Vice Mayor Eddie Tucker and Jessie Gilmore.
Riley said his decision came down to tax revenue for Verona. He said that since Tupelo began selling beer on Sundays in 2009, Verona’s sales tax dropped by $20,000 last year.
“We have beer being legally sold on Sundays on both sides of us with Shannon and Tupelo,” said Riley. “So we are losing valuable sales tax dollars. When people go to Tupelo to buy beer they don’t just get beer, they get gas, hot wings, snacks and other things. We need that money to stay right here in Verona.”
Tucker, the senior member of the board, said he opposed Sunday beer sales because he felt it just wasn’t right for a town the size of Verona.
“All towns are looking for revenue opportunities but I don’t feel this is the right one for our town,” said Tucker. “We have a lot of churches in Verona and I just don’t think this is right for Verona. And besides, I don’t see that one day making that big of a difference as for increasing revenue.”
Caranthan said he has sent the new ordinance in to the board.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.