Manchester alcohol vote scheduled for Tuesday

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

In two days, voters in Manchester will decide whether they will allow packaged alcohol sales in their city.

On Sunday, dozens attended a rally at Rawlings Stinson Park in support of staying dry.

However, there is also a movement on Facebook in support of going wet saying sales will stimulate economic growth for the debt-ridden city.

The wet or dry issue has sparked a debate across the small Clay County town.

"We have a chance to change Manchester for the positive," said James Pennington, who supports alcohol sales.

Pennington was born and raised in the city and is leading a Facebook movement promoting a "wet" Manchester.

"Laurel County, folks in Jackson, Leslie County. (Folks in) those counties will come into Clay County and will bring money to us, instead of us bringing it to them," said Pennington.

Anthony Lovett supports the dry vote and argues that not many people in Manchester would profit from alcohol sales.

"It's not helped Detroit, it's not helped Ohio, London, Whitesburg, contrary to what they say. Where's the new restaurant, the jobs, the new factory? Who's it helping? Nobody," said Lovett.

Lovett says that folks need to count the cost of alcohol before they head to the polls.

"Is one dollar worth it? Is ten dollars worth it? I don't think we can put one dollar on the life of someone else," said Lovett.

Pennington says the future of Manchester and Clay County could be at stake in this election.

"I'm not saying alcohol is the solution to all of our problems. But we won't know until we try." said Pennington.

Voters will make their decision on Tuesday.

Pennington says supporters of alcohol sales will rally on Monday in Manchester.

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