Carbon Hill Food Mart gets liquor license approval

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CARBON HILL - Approval has been given to Carbon Hill Food Mart, which used to be the Chevron near the Carbon Hill schools, to have a liquor license, as it prepares to try to have a Little Ceasar franchise - if it can attract enough sales.

The action was taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Carbon Hill City Council.

The council first heard Vic Rohella of Carbon Hill Food Mart say he would donate a clothes dryer to the dispatch, after the current 18-year-old dryer stopped working Saturday due to electrical issues. The dryer is used twice a month at dispatch. The council had minutes before agreed to purchase a used dryer for $300. 

Then Herron noted that while the matter was not on the agenda, approval on the liquor license was needed as Rohella, who once owned the store, has taken possession of it again.

Rohella noted he will be selling Citgo gasoline and has applied to sell Little Ceasar pizza once the business is profitable enough. He owned in in 2014 and sold the business in 2017. Last year he purchased Dodson Oil Co. and he now owns four other stations, and noted he working to get traffic from U.S. Interstate 22.

"I need the license so I can get the sales up" to attract Little Ceasars, he said.

Herron did ask him to "be as discrete as possible with the liquor" due to the location near the school. He noted that he never got a ticket at the store when he owned it the first time, noted he has had some students who have tried unsuccessfully to get alcohol.

District 1 Councilwoman Cindy Killingsworth abstained, with Herron - who said she doesn't drink alcohol - explaining it is hard having a religious faith but also having to make decisions benefitting the city financially. "It is not anything against you," she told Rohella.

"It's just we try to follow our faith." Killingsworth said she understood what he was doing. "I do wish you all the best - except for the liquor sales," she said, laughing. Herron also noted the city's alcohol tax has "saved us" in the past. Rohella indicated he understood.

Herron also encouraged him to call the police department if someone comes "that you don't think it is safe to sell to," as she said officials are concerned about people being intoxicated on the roads.