By Brian Knox | Wise County Messenger
POURING ONE OUT – Fuzzy’s bartender Sam Armitage pours a drink on the night Decatur approved expanded liquor sales. Messenger photo by Joe Duty
Decatur approves expanded alcohol sales in the city of Decatur.
A ballot measure to allow the sale of all alcoholic beverages including mixed beverages passed with 71 percent of the vote, 1,212 to 506 Tuesday.
City residents previously approved the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption in 2003.
Mayor Martin Woodruff said he wasn’t surprised by the result.
“I thought it would pass given what’s gone on since 2003 when the first option election passed,” he said.
Woodruff said he felt some people might have been concerned in 2003 about possible negative effects of allowing alcohol sales in the city, but those fears have not been realized in the last 13 years. Instead, he said it’s provided a positive economic impact.
He said he felt the key to getting the measure passed was a strong turnout, and the presidential election certainly provided that.
Local developer Mark Moran, who was a supporter of the ballot measure, said he was happy people learned the facts surrounding the issue and supported the measure.
He said the expanded alcohol sales would make Decatur more attractive to restaurants looking to locate here, since they wouldn’t be required to set up a private club to sell alcohol.
“This saves the paperwork for restaurants – now national people can come in,” Moran said.
There wasn’t much suspense over whether the issue would pass once early voting numbers were released, showing 70 percent of early voters in favor of the measure.
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