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3 Harnett Communities Will Vote 'Wet' or 'Dry'

Posted June 18, 2007

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— Buying beer or wine in rural Harnett County has long required a trip to town or across the county line. That could soon change, however.

Voters in Anderson Creek, Upper Little River and Johnsonville can head to the polls Tuesday to decide on alcohol sales. If a referendum passes, it would allow the sale of beer and wine — not liquor.

Gene Taylor says it's time his community makes it legal to serve up a cold one with suds. He says “yes” to selling beer and wine despite being a churchgoer.

Taylor is, he said Monday, a "full-blown Baptist.” Nonetheless, he’s for a referendum to allow selling alcohol.

“Why am I so much for alcohol? Look at the tax base. People are gonna drink anyway. We're picking up the cans.

In Harnett County, you can beer and wine only in the cities and towns. Anderson Creek is unincorporated, and alcohol sales have never been allowed.

Butch Abling said he thinks that is just fine. He's passing around flyers that say alcohol sales will bring higher crime and lower property values.

Bart Dillow, who manages Tiger’s Restaurant, agrees.

"If we put it out here, we're just gonna have more drunks on the roads. More bars are going to pop up, and our kids are going to be more in danger down here," Dillow said.

“We don’t need something that you can actually go three or four miles down the road to get,” Dillow said, referring to nearby Spring Lake and Cumberland County, which are wet communities.

North Carolina is sprinkled with dry communities.

In four mountain counties, you cannot buy alcohol anywhere, even within city limits. In 16 counties, most of them urban, there are no alcohol restrictions. In the rest of the 100 counties, there is an elaborate cocktail of local ordinances.

In Anderson Creek, supporters of change say sales will bring in tax dollars.

"I think it should go toward schools, and the rebuilding of roads, and different things to build this community up," Becky Foust said.

If the referendum passes, it would only allow the sale of beer and wine — not liquor. In addition to Anderson Creek, voters will be casting ballots in Upper Little River and Johnsonville.

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.


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  • CYOA1FAN Jun 19, 2007

    We already have the choice We can buy Alcohol in Barbeque Township(from the center of our township maybe 5 miles). The Question is Where does the Tax money Go?
    2nd Question- why let Gas Companies make all the money at our expense in Crime, Property Values decreases, and increase need of police protection and expenses?

    Property Taxes and value provide for 80% of the income in our county $5,453,480,334 worth. Why loose revinue do to a higher crime rate?
    Tax Levy
    There is hereby levied a tax at the rate of seventy-three and one-half cents (.735) per one hundred dollars ($100) valuation of property listed as
    of January 1, 2007, for the purpose of raising revenue listed as Ad Valorem Tax - Current Year in the Harnett County General Fund in Section 1 of this
    ordinance. The rate of tax is based on an estimated total valuation of property for the purpose of taxation of $5,453,480,334 and an estimated collection
    rate of 96.75 percent.

  • Tired Of Excuses Jun 19, 2007

    Who is the county to decide if a person can buy a legal substance, whether it be tobacco or alcohol? Harnett County is experiencing tremendous growth and if they want to be able to afford this growth they'd better get with the times and leave their religious agenda regarding the "evils of alcohol" for the privacy of their homes and churches.

  • carrese Jun 19, 2007

    Let's keep Harnett County dry and in the Stone Age where it belongs.

  • jbtilley Jun 19, 2007

    When are people going to learn not to restrict our FREEDOMS!! Like the freedom to let a county pass a law that prohibits alcohol sales... oh, wait.

  • penny for your thoughts Jun 19, 2007

    Only in Harnett county and others like it, is it ok to kill yourself smoking tobacco, but not ok to drink alcohol. If I remember, Jesus drank wine - but no mention of him smoking!

  • 4 Rugrats Jun 19, 2007

    You know what scary- The last couple of post have said its ok to drink and drive!!!! If I'm going to drink I make sure I get mine before the weekend.

  • elcid89 Jun 19, 2007

    I wonder if gOD will smite them? (smote them? smiteth them?) LOL

  • wolfmandan Jun 19, 2007

    You know the real reason folks don't want it??..Its interupts their (Still) Sells..And its true, Its safer on the roads if those who drink and drive don't have as far to go.

  • LADY1 Jun 19, 2007

    Well, I believe if your going to buy alcohol you are going to go get it no mather the distance. why not have it closer to your home than to drink and drive at a farther distance. It not going to change anything.

  • jaydee2121 Jun 19, 2007

    Some people just need to wake up. If a drunk wants to drive he's going to drive if he has to go that much farther to get his beer. So by selling locally he's on the road a shorter period of time. I'm not for drunk driving in anyway, but people do it and yes they put others at risk, but this has nothing at all to due with selling alcohol in rural communities. These area's are growing and with growth comes increased problems and selling beer isn't one of them.