Local News

Barbecue Residents Vote 'Yes' On Alcohol Referendum

Posted March 2, 2004 8:43 a.m. EST

— Residents in the Harnett County township of Barbecue voted Tuesday in favor of a referendum that may allow beer and wine sales.

There was a 28 percent voter turnout -- 1,244 people out of 4,404 in the township. More than 900 of them (918) voted in favor of the sale of malt beverages, with only 312 voting against.

Regarding the sale of wine, 921 voted in favor, with only 310 voting against.

Tuesday's unofficial results from the Harnett Board of Elections will be official next Tuesday.

Opinions on the issue are dividing members of the community.

"We need the revenue," county commissioner Tim McNeill said. "It's not a question of whether people are going to consume it. They're already consuming it. They're just not buying it here in western Harnett County."

Said the Rev. Curtis Norris: "To me, it is just a negative issue all the way around. Every 30 minutes, someone gets killed in an alcohol-related accident. Every two minutes, somebody's injured in an alcohol-related accident."

The vote originally was set for January. But an ice storm made roads too dangerous.

Only 15 voters made it to the polls that morning. Their votes counted.