Calhoun looks at beer sales for increased revenue - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Calhoun looks at beer sales for increased revenue

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While many across the state rejoiced over the passage of the wine in supermarkets bill, for some, the issue of alcohol sales at all is a big deal.

Such is the case in the McMinn County town of Calhoun. As city leaders look for revenue sources, beer sales is being thrown out as an option and not everyone likes the idea.

At the town's latest commission meeting people were very vocal about the issue.

"We're not about to shut down or anything like that, but money is tight," says Calhoun Commissioner Dewayne Jones.

Jones says as the city looks to increase revenue, beer sales have been thrown out as an option.

"This has come up before and it caused a big uproar. I knew that the people on this side of town where I live would be opposed to it. So I would probably have to vote against it."

But with that said, Jones is still considering the other side of the argument. Recently the city was approached by a Kangaroo Express to set up shop within city limits, but backed out when it learned it could not sell beer.

"We're not wanting to raise taxes," says Jones.

"It's really not good for people," says Calhoun resident Amos Cabrera.

Cabrera says his concerns are safety related.

"I'd rather see taxes go up on property or on road taxes instead of have teenagers out here getting killed in car accidents."

"I can't see any benefits from it. If it's voted in, how much money are they going to get out of the Jiffy selling beer? A couple hundred bucks? That's not going to do you any good," says Jim Morrow.

Morrow, a former commissioner, is against it too. He says the citizens should be able to vote on beer sales, but he does not see it getting that far.     

"I can't see the commission taking that responsibility upon themselves when the majority of the people here don't want it. Period," he says.

As for Jones, he supports a vote as well.

"If the people just had the chance to vote on it, I think that would be the best way to go in this situation," says Jones.

Commissioner Jones reiterates the city is just discussing it right now. Ultimately it would be up to the commission to have a board vote or have beer sales on a public referendum.

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