Amite bars will be able to open their doors on Sunday, and grocery and convenience stores will soon be able to sell alcohol that day as well.
The Amite City Council, by a 3-1 margin, approved an ordinance during a council meeting March 6 that prohibits the sale of alcohol in the city daily from 2-6 a.m., paving the way for alcohol to be sold on Sundays.
Previously, the selling of alcohol in Amite was banned from 6 a.m. Sunday through 2 a.m. Monday, forcing residents to leave the city if they wanted to buy a bottle of wine or a beer, costing the city potential revenue.
City Councilman Damon Ellzey introduced the ordinance at the council’s Feb. 27 meeting and said Amite and Kentwood were the only two places in the area that banned alcohol sales on Sunday.
He said at the time an unintended consequence of the ban was that when going to buy a bottle of wine outside Amite, residents were often likely to complete their grocery shopping at that same store, costing Amite potential tax revenue.
Councilman Charles Guzzardo expressed opposition to the ordnance during the February meeting, saying he required additional time for research. At that time, Guzzardo’s motion to table the item failed, sending it to the March 6 meeting which Guzzardo did not attend.
Councilman Rose Sumrall was the only opposition vote.
The ordinance is expected to take affect April 7.
Also during the March 6 meeting, Amite Chamber of Commerce Board President Ayana Buchanan encouraged city officials to have a more visible presence at ribbing cuttings for new businesses and similar type events.
“We have not had the support of the councilmen and women, the town of Amite, mayor’s office, the police department,” Buchanan said. “I do feel as though we are all on the same team; we all have the same mission that we want to improve this city. I know we can do that if we support one another. All I’m asking is that we have your support whenever we do host events, ribbon cuttings.”
Buchanan stressed the importance of letting any new business know they have the support of not only the chamber but also public officials.
“The purpose of the chamber of commerce is ultimately to improve the economic development here in the city of Amite,” she said. “It is hard to do what if we do not have support. We want to support our town, and that is how it will grow.”
Buchanan thanked those who did turn out for a recent ribbon cutting of the welcome new sign in Amite, which features Philadelphia Eagles’ star wide receiver DeVonta Smith and Gov. John Bel Edwards, both of whom are Amite natives.
“It’s an honor, really,” Smith said at the unveiling ceremony. “It’s a great accomplishment, and I think it can speak to the youth behind me and hopefully set a great example of what hard work and discipline can do for their future.”
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