EB council denies beer license

Published 8:54 am Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A woman who had hoped to have an off-premises beer license approved by the East Brewton City council, left Monday’s meeting bewildered.
Monica Shockley, along with her husband Sherman, had made application with the Alabama Beverage Control Board to obtain a license to sell beer at a convenience-style store they plan to open in East Brewton at the intersection of U.S. 29 and Hwy. 41, also known as Forrest Aveue and Florida Street.
When the item came up for discussion during Monday’s meeting of the city council, the request was denied due to lack of a motion from council members.
“I don’t understand,” Shockley told the council. “We applied for the license in good faith. There are no restrictions or ordinances that would prevent me from getting the license. Everything I have I have put into this building. Can you give me a reason why it’s denied?”
Mayor Terry Clark told Shockley that the approval for the license was made by the state. “This council can turn a license down,” Clark said. “You can still go through the state for the license.”
Shockley told the council that getting a license from the state after being denied by the council would be impossible.
“You have to have approval of the city’s governing body,” Shockley said. “Without this license, I don’t see how the business can make it. I will be closed on Sunday and close early on Wednesday. I’m a responsible person. I’ve never been arrested. I’m begging you to reconsider. Every extra dime I have has gone into this building. I don’t understand why you would turn me down when others are approved.”
In attempt to explain his silence in the matter, Councilman Ned Sibert said the location of the proposed business was a big issue for him. “The close proximity of the business to churches is a problem for me,” Sibert said. “You wanted a reason and that’s my reason.”
Council Byron Palmer said he also had misgivings about the activity planned by the business. “I really have a problem with a drive-through establishment that sells beer,” Palmer said. “With that and the close proximity to churches, I have a problem with it.”
Shockley asked council members to reconsider their choice asking for an opportunity to make the business work. “All I’m asking for as a businessman is to do business,” Shockley said. “Please, just give me a chance. I’ll have to come back in a year for renewal and if we have caused any problems, you could deny it them.”
After no council member spoke up, Clark apologized to Shockley, again denying her license request.