Voters to decide if city can sell alcohol

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

Voters in Manchester will soon have a choice, stay dry or allow packaged alcohol sales in the city. It's a debate you not only see on front lawns, but also on Facebook.

Donnie Smith has lived in Clay County his whole life, but says he's tired of watching businesses close and money dwindle. He says he's confident packaged alcohol sales would jump start the area's economy. His church's pastor says the cost of more access to alcohol is too much.

Donnie Smith went door-to-door across Manchester, collecting signatures for an issue that is as simple as this to him.

"If you're happy with the things are now, vote no. If not, vote yes," Smith said.

He says times are tough in the county he's called home all his life.

"We've had seven or eight restaurants, a Christian bookstore that closed, couldn't stay open. There's no money, no economy here," Smith said.

Smith says if alcohol sales are approved, a lot of the money spent in wet cities will be kept in Manchester.

Smith attends church at Manchester Baptist, whose pastor, Ken Bolin, has a simple view on drinking.

"Really and truly, no good comes from alcohol," Bolin said.

He says any additional revenue from sales will not equal the destruction it may cause.

"There's gonna be more accidents due to drunk driving, I think it's going to affect families a lot more," Bolin said.

Bolin also says he hopes people weigh the cost of bringing alcohol legally to Manchester before they make a decision.

"A lot of the profit that comes from alcohol goes back into dealing with the problem," Bolin said.

Smith says alcohol will not cause more problems in the county, and says he is happy people will finally have a say in the matter.

Supporters of alcohol sales have planned a "Wetter the Better" rally at Riverside Park in Manchester Friday at seven.

The election is on June 21st.

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