The Alto City Council heard from three citizens last week who are opposed to a recommendation that the city approve beer and wine sales.
Harrill Millsaps, pastor of Alto Baptist Church, said, “It takes a very few months for a teen to become an alcoholic.”
Millsaps talked about the effects of alcohol use on families and how in his role as a pastor he has had to deal with families who are victims of alcohol abuse.
“Revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages doesn’t come close to the cost of the social problems it creates,” Millsaps said.
The pastor told the council that he has to go out and pick up beer can/bottles in the yard of the church.
“The average individual doesn’t see the social problems it causes,” he said. “I am asking you to open your eyes and see that Alto doesn’t need this.”
Alto resident J.C. Scroggs voiced some of the same concerns as Millsaps. “Studies show you spend more taking care of the problems it causes than the revenue you get,” Scroggs said.
Another Alto resident, John Closs, said, “When you bring in alcohol, sex toys and drug paraphernalia, you bring in a certain kind of people.”
Closs reported he contacted the owner of a convenience store in Alto about sex toys and drug paraphernalia being for sale in his store. Closs said he told the storeowner the citizens of Alto didn’t want this in their community. Closs reported the items have now been removed from the store.
“I think it’s about time the council looks at what the citizens want,” Closs said. “None of you went to this store owner and talked to him about this issue, I had to do it. Let’s get Alto cleaned up. We don’t need the alcohol, sex toys and drug paraphernalia. If we don’t have it here, they will go somewhere else.”