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HARTSELLE, AL (WAFF) -
The group advocating the legalization of alcohol sales in Hartselle opened its campaign headquarters on Wednesday.
Hartselle is the largest populated city in Alabama that does now allow the sale of alcohol within city limits.
A referendum to approve alcohol sales in Hartselle will appear in the November ballot.
Bobby Francis, who leads the Hartselle Citizens of Economic Development, said he feels more confident the referendum will pass this year.
"I think the suppressed economy has probably sensitized people more to the need that we need to try to expand to our potential in economic development as far as possible," Francis said.
Meanwhile, another group in Hartselle known as A Better Way launched its "You Prayed?" campaign last week.
The organization comprises a group of churches and ministers that are against alcohol sales in Hartselle and want to keep it that way.
"We are afraid that people will not recognize that this is a moral issue. Also, we want to put a human face on this because alcohol is the number-one drug problem in America today," said Bobby Halbrooks, a minister at the United First Methodist Church in Hartselle.
Francis, however, said it is not a moral issue nor is his group promoting alcohol consumption. He said he is more concerned the ban limits business development in the city.
"I don't think you hold a referendum on morality. That's an individual decision. This is a huge business decision for Hartselle," Francis said.
Past efforts to approve alcohol sales in Hartselle have failed in 2002 and 2010.