LOVE COUNTY, OK -- ‘Liquor by the drink’ supporters in Love County are saying hard work does pay off. Citizens will soon vote if alcohol can be sold in the county.
The Love County Citizens for Progress had until January to get 359 petitioners before liquor by the drink could be put on the ballot.
Eight days later and with 878, the group officially turned in the petitions on Wednesday.
Supporters of liquor by the drink say with all the development going on around Love County, they don’t want to miss out on its economic benefits.
"Most of it was we talked to people we know, meeting people down the street walking into businesses," says Shaun Jones with Love County Citizens for Progress.
The election is set for January 8th.
LOVE COUNTY, Okla. – ‘Liquor by the drink’ could be back on the ballot for one local county for the fifth time. A local committee has organized a petition to try to put the measure in the hands of Love County voters.
The last time liquor by the drink was on the ballot in Love County was in 1991. The number of votes against the proposal nearly doubled those who were in favor.
Sixteen years later, Love County is one of 30 in Oklahoma that does not serve liquor by the drink. It’s a trend that some business owners say is costing them and the county revenue.
Gary Jackson owns Fire Side Dining. He says they have special memberships so patrons can drink at his restaurant.
"We have a bottle club plan that allows people to bring in the alcohol, but they have to take it out with them when they leave," Jackson said.
Love County residents have opposed the vote four times by large margins. Now county commissioners require a petition with a majority of voters' signatures before they even consider putting the measure on the ballot.
The committee in charge of the petition already has more than half of the 529 needed signatures. Jackson says this is a great step to legalize the drinks, but Jackson says it’s not all about the money for business owners. He says it’s about the community and helping Love County grow.
We spoke with some of the citizens opposed to the vote. Their concerns are alcoholism and drunk drivers.
A Marietta pastor was also concerned with gambling issues and says involving liquor could make the situation worse.
Despite the push for a referendum, there is another effort underway. A group is organizing its own petition to stop the vote.
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