Hayneville ABC Store slated to close

Published 5:42 pm Thursday, October 1, 2015

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By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
The Hayneville ABC Store is the latest Lowndes County victim of the 2016 general fund budget passed by the Alabama Legislature.
ABC Administrator Mac Gipson announced Thursday, Oct. 1 a plan to close or consolidate at least 15 state owned ABC stores in three to six months.
Among stores recommended for closing are Store 112 in Hayneville, Stores 16, 81 and 88 in Montgomery, Store 34 in Dothan, Store 37 in Abbeville, Store 47 in York, Store 54 in Marion, Store 63 in Pike Road, Store 91 in Luverne, Store 105 in Spanish Fort, Store 117 in Linden, Store 130 in Orange Beach, Store 147 in Guntersville and Store 149 in Florence.
Wednesday it was announced that the satellite driver’s license examiners office in Hayneville is closed, as well as the fact that the National Guard armory in Fort Deposit is set to close by 2017.
Those closures are also the result of state budget cuts.
“Lawmakers arbitrarily reduced the ABC Board’s spending authority by more than $5.5 million said Gipson. “By transferring $5,512,000 from our spending authority to the general fund, the legislature has seriously jeopardized our ability to meet our financial obligations. Therefore, we have made a business decision to close 15 stores as soon as possible.”
According to the ABC Board, in fiscal year 2014, it generated and gave to the general fund $215 million used to fund state agencies, local school systems and city governments.
Gipson said , “We are going to make every effort to transfer affected employees to other, nearby stores.” He said, “Also, it is our goal to minimize the effects of the these closing on our customers.”
According to financial information provided, the Hayneville Store had sales of $306,828.30, operating expenses of $12,320.04, direct overhead of $10,152.36 and operating income of $34,206.12.
Hayneville Mayor David Daniel said the closing of the ABC store would have a minimal affect on the town. However, he said, “I wish they (the Legislature) could have raised those taxes the governor was asking for to get that close to $300 million. But they saw fit not to raise it, so we are going to have to accept the consequences of them not raising the taxes to get that money.”
Daniel said he is now hoping for a lottery to pass in Alabama. I would hope they would give the public at large in Alabama a chance to vote on it, and that would help the budget a lot.”

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