Wet-dry vote might be in Williamsburg's future

Early next year, people in Williamsburg will likely have a chance to once again vote on whether they want alcohol sales in restaurants.

Petitions are circulating now in hopes of getting the issue on the ballot.

268 valid signatures from city voters are needed to get the wet-dry vote on the ballot.

"I don't see that there is a big deal," said Courtney Ward, who supports the city going wet and lives in Williamsburg.

"I would say no, it's not worth it, personally," said Jeremy Brading, who is against the city going wet and lives in Williamsburg.

People in Williamsburg voted on this issue more than 5 years ago, and the decision on that vote was to remain dry.

Some people say the vote will probably be 50/50 this time.

"I think it's going to be half and half. I think the younger generation is going to be for it. Some of the older generation is against it," said Ward.

Those against becoming wet agree alcohol sales would bring in money for the city, but they say that is the only benefit.

"I think if you have it in the city, it will come on campus. And you don't want that," said Brading.

Supporters of becoming wet disagree.

"It's clearly going to generate more revenue. Look at all the people that go to Corbin just to eat, and there's only a couple restaurants there. I think the more restaurants here, the better the economy is going to be," said Ward.

And while people who want the city to remain dry believe alcohol would increase crime rates, supporters of alcohol sales think just the opposite.

"I think it's more dangerous driving 30 minutes down the interstate to go get the alcohol or driving to Knoxville and driving back intoxicated," said Ward.

Supporters say it is not a vote for alcohol sales, but a vote to move the community forward.

Before 2006, the last alcohol vote in Williamsburg was back in 1976, and dry voters won by a landslide.


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