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Rusk County Commissioners Court to consider Henderson alcohol petition

By Angela Ward award@news-journal.com
Aug. 3, 2011 at 11 p.m.

The Rusk County Commissioners Court will consider a petition Monday to place a measure legalizing alcohol sales in Henderson on the November ballot.

Although the petition is for the City of Henderson, the court must vote to put it on the ballot.

Weldon Gray, treasurer of the Henderson 1st Committee, said that his group has encountered mostly positive reactions to the proposals.

There are two separate proposals. One would allow the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption, which would allow grocer and convenience stores to sell beer and wine, but would not permit packaged liquor sales. The second would allow for the sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders, which would permit restaurants to serve mixed drinks without a private club license.

"We haven't run into any organized opposition to the proposals," Gray said. "There have been maybe three or four individuals who have expressed their disapproval of the idea, but we've mostly had a positive response."

The purpose of the proposals is to attract more businesses to Henderson, particularly chain restaurants that want to serve mixed drinks without having to apply for private club status, he said.

The group will probably start advertising and holding information sessions about the proposals as the election grows nearer, Gray said.

"Right now we're just kind of coasting along," he said. "It's a bit too early to start active campaigning."

City officials, including Mayor Buzz Fullen, have neither supported nor opposed the proposals.



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