Petition will advocate sale of alcohol in Alto - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Petition will advocate sale of alcohol in Alto

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EAST TEXAS (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Alto could be the next East Texas town to have an alcohol election.

Lucky Stop convenience store manager Reggie Sanders is looking into the idea in hopes of having a November ballot issue. The issue would be for/against the sale of beer and wine in stores. Rusk, Alto's neighbor to the north, has already approved beer and wine sales.

Sanders said he believes the revenue from alcohol sales would help the city, and his store should reap some benefit. He said he also believes legalizing the sales would help the community as a whole because residents wouldn't have to travel far.

"People are going to drink (and) will go wherever they can to get it. (But) if they get it here, they're not far from home," Sanders said.

He added, "We just decided to try to help the city out."
But before an election can take place, a notice must be published in the newspaper, indicating intent to distribute a petition, said Connie Quine, chief deputy voter registrar in Cherokee County.

She said they must then get 10 signatures from registered voters who live within city limits, and once those signatures are turned in and verified, a petition would be issued, and at least 80 valid signatures would be needed on the petition for the City Council to call the election.

Kathi Davis, administrative assistant with the Alto Economic Development Corp., said she believes allowing beer and wine sales would "definitely boost the economy," but there are "always pros and cons."

Rusk Mayor Angela Raiborn said she wouldn't think Rusk would see a big impact if Alto had an election and voters approved beer and wine sales. She said Rusk has had good sales tax returns, although it is unclear exactly what amount of the sales tax is from alcohol.

"We've been very fortunate in our sales tax," she said.

Sanders said a notice about the petition is expected to run this Wednesday in the Cherokeean Herald.

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