Larry Bodine of Brashiers Chapel doesn’t drink alcohol but he’s working to get legalized alcohol sales in the unincorporated parts of Marshall County to help raise some revenue for the Marshall County School System.

He and some friends are putting petitions all over the county for registered voters to sign. The petition reads:

“We, the undersigned, are requesting a referendum that would allow legal alcohol sales in the unincorporated parts of Marshall County.”

“Unincorporated” means outside the city limits of Arab, Albertville, Boaz and Guntersville, which already have legal sales of alcohol.

For a signature to count on the petition the signer must be a registered voter in Marshall County and live in the unincorporated parts of Marshall County.

If your not a registered voter, Bodine can help get you registered.

LeCroy said Bodine will need a few thousand names on his petition from Marshall County voters. She was working Tuesday morning to get that exact number from the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office.

Marshall County Probate Judge Andrea LeCroy said there are a few rules regarding the petition, such as:

  • Signer must be a registered voter in Marshall County;
  • Signer must live in the unincorporated part of Marshall County;
  • Signer must print name, sign name and fill in address.

“The biggest thing for me in this is to get revenue for the county school system,” Bodine said. “Because the cities have annexed so much property and businesses over the years, we have no real tax base in the county, meaning we have no real way of supporting the county schools.”

Bodine said he believes there will come a day when the cities take up so much property that the “lawmakers will have to eventually tax the people in the cities to help support the county school system.”

Bodine said he believes the top three sales tax revenue producers for the county schools are a grocery store in Grant, a grocery store in Douglas and Walker’s Building Supply north of Arab.

“If we can get this passed, I don’t believe it would take that much revenue away from the cities,” Bodine said. “It might even bring the price of alcohol down a little if it’s sold countywide.”

In the Brindlee Mountain areas, petitions have been put at the following locations so far:

  • Chevron station at Allens Crossroads;
  • Walker’s Building Supply;
  • Cooley’s Grocery in Union Grove;
  • Small shopping center in Grassy;
  • The two convenience stores in Scant City;
  • Convenience store on U.S. 231 near Windstream, north of Arab.

Bodine said he hopes the referendum can be on the ballot in next June’s party primary elections.

“It’s about time we do this,” Bodine said. “The state politicians won’t help us because most of their votes come from the cities.”

For more information or to get a copy of the petition, call Bodine, 256-738-8384.

(This story first appeared in the Arab Tribune.)

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