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Voters To Decide About Alcohol Sales In Freestone County

The Freestone County Clerk?s office submitted two petitions to Freestone County Commissioners during regular session Monday, August 20th, with the required number of signatures from registered voters, asking for limited alcohol sales to be put on the ballot for county voters to decide upon in the upcoming November general election. Following the submission of the two petitions, County Attorney Chris Martin stated the facts of the petition and that the limited sale of alcohol will be put in front of county voters in the November general election due to all procedures being followed correctly.

The ?Keep Dollars in Freestone County Committee? who organized the petition drive is asking, in petition one, that voters decide whether or not to allow the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only. This would only allow beer and wine sales in businesses such as grocery and convenience stores, but would not allow package liquor sales or liquor stores.

Petition two asks voters to decide whether or not to allow the legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders in Freestone County. This would allow only state recognized restaurants to serve alcohol with out requiring the ?private club? memberships. It does not allow for stand-alone bars or nightclubs.

Approximately 1,900 registered voters in Freestone County signed the petitions to get the two items on the November ballot.

The ?Keep Dollars in Freestone County? group says that valuable revenues are being lost with residents driving out of the county to buy beer and wine and increases the danger of alcohol related automobile accidents from having to drive further distances.

Don Thornton, a member of the opposition to the legalization of the sale of beer and wine in Freestone County told Commissioner's Monday, "What we, as a group, are standing against with most fervor, is what it will do to our children and grand-children and how it will affect the family-friendly atmosphere that so many have sought out as a reason to move their families here and raise their children here. If alcohol is legalized in Freestone County, that family-friendly atmosphere will be forever changed for the worse."

With the November general election fast approaching, the battle will be heating up for both sides.

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