By Gerri Miller
Prattville residents can now stay out two hours later, but one business owners says it is too little, too late.
The Prattville City Council passed a resolution Tuesday night amending the citywide curfew by two hours. Curfew hours are now midnight until 5 a.m. instead of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. seven days a week.
The curfew was established on April 3 in an emergency meeting to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tuesday’s vote came after the Public Safety Committee met on May 15 concerning the curfew, draft beer sales, and other issues.
But Lia Muir, one of the owners of KimberLia’s in downtown Prattville, said the whole concept of a curfew is unfair. “Every one of you has been to Wal-Mart or Winn-Dixie,” she told the Council. “We should be able to stay open to serve our customers. We feel really stifled.”
She said at midnight there are normally still people at her business who may want to walk down the street, maybe to Teddy’s Bourbon Bar to get a drink. She said when she has a band coming to play, customers want to stay later.
She requested that the curfew not be in effect until 2 a.m. “If any of you had a business you were running, you would understand the pain we are feeling,” she told the council.
District Four City Council member Jerry Starnes said the Council took the health and safety of its citizens, first responders and local businesses in consideration in changing the curfew. “I know we can’t make everybody happy, but I know what we are doing is for the greater good.”
“We are right next door to a hotspot, and they have a curfew in place,” Starnes said. Starnes was talking about Montgomery, which has seen a jump in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
Darri Edwards, owner of Adrienne’s Downtown Bar, said he was glad that his business was finally able to reopen last Friday. “We were a late-night spot until the virus changed everything,” he said. “We are trying to figure out our next step.”
Edwards said being open until midnight instead of 10 p.m. will help in getting his business back in gear. “All of this is nuts and it isn’t anybody’s fault,” he said.
District Five Council member Richard Cables said the Tuesday’s curfew vote is a step in the right direction. “I thought it was a good compromise,” he said.
Muir disagrees with there being any curfew. “An adult should be able to go out and get a drink,” she said. “If I want to walk my dog at 3 a.m., I should also be able to.”
“We should be able to open up our businesses fully,” she said. “Our constitutional rights are being trampled. We need this money, every bit of it.”