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Long Co. considering liquor sales
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At the Aug. 4 meeting, the Long County Commissioners heard from several people on the possibility of making Long a “wet” county, thus allowing residents to buy liquor. Currently, consumers may buy beer or wine inside county lines.
The majority of peoplewho attended the meeting were against the proposal.
Allan Stewart recited passages from the Bible and told commissioners the county needs to “follow the old path of our forefathers.”  Stewart said he thinks alcohol would bring more crime into the county.
Robert Rice said, “I’m here asking my commissioners not to allow my county to become a ‘wet’ county.”
County resident Bruce Duncan, however, doesn’t think selling liquor inside the county is such a bad idea.
“Its only 10 miles each way. If someone wants a drink, they’ll get a drink, and when they do, the county is losing tax revenue,” he said.
Harold Tatum said any additional revenue brought into the county should only go to law enforcement to compensate for the increase in crime.
Commission Chairman Bobby Walker told the group that the commissioners had not taken any action on the issue.
“We want public participation, but I want everyone to know that what’s going on did not come from this table, but it came to this table,” Walker said.
Deanna Hartley addressed the commmissioners on behalf of the audience. “We are only here because we know you have been approached about this,” she said.
At the July commissioner’s meeting, local businessman Tim Works asked what needed to be done to get the “wet/dry” issue on a ballot.
Works wasn’t at the Aug. 4 meeting, but he later commented on the issue.
“I think the people, the voting populous, should decide whether the county is dry or wet. It needs to be on a referendum, not in the churches, not the commissioners, but the people as a whole.”
County Attorney Jay Swindell said there are two ways the issue could end up on a referendum: if the commissioners voted to do so or if 35 percent of the county’s registered voters demonstrate they want to see the measure on a referendum.  
Walker said he recenlty has been getting phone calls from people on both side of the fence, but he admitted that more callers seem to be in favor of the change.
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