BALLINGER – Proposition A will be on the ballot in the upcoming Nov. 7 election and voters will have the opportunity to cast ballots either for or against the sale of beer, wine and mixed drinks in local establishments.
Issue: Legalizing the sale of mixed drinks at retail establishments in Ballinger. Local impact: The legalization of the sale of mixed drinks would allow local restaurants to serve alcohol.
BALLINGER – Proposition A will be on the ballot in the upcoming Nov. 7 election and voters will have the opportunity to cast ballots either for or against the sale of beer, wine and mixed drinks in local establishments. Early voting on Prop A starts Monday Oct. 3 and runs through Friday, Nov. 3.
In early June, local businessman Tyler Smith, applied for a petition to gather signatures for a local option election for the sale of alcohol at local establishments to include, mixed drinks.
The election was called after the required 205 signatures were obtained and verified.
What does this do for the community? Smith and other supporters say this will open up the opportunities for new businesses to come to Ballinger, and it will also create tax revenue to help the city with infrastructure.
Throughout Runnels County, the legal sale of alcohol and mixed drinks varies. The community of Rowena, or JP District 7 passed the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages in 1959. In 1974, the sale of beer was legalized in Miles. Winters, which is in JP District 2, legalized the sale of all alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption in 2012.
From November to May several nearby municipalities and precincts passed local option elections for the sale of mixed beverages including Baird, Comanche, Ranger and Hamlin. Other local option elections pass for off premise sale of beer and wine in the cities of Blanket, Cross Plains and Graham.
As of August 2016, there were 53 completely wet counties in the State of Texas and seven completely dry counties.
Some supporters of the measure said it could eventually bring a much-needed new hotel chain to the area, since the hotel could include a bar.
In addition, if passed, local restaurants could offer beer, wine and mixed drinks on premise.
“This is the first step in bringing in more local businesses,” Smith said.
Smith stressed that since there has been no election of this type in 32 years “it’s time.”
“It’s time to get with the times,” Smith said. “If you don’t want it you don’t have to buy it.”
Tax revenue from the sale of beer, wine and mixed drinks would be split between the City of Ballinger and Runnels County.
“The tax revenue would be split 10 percent to the county and 10 percent to the city,” Smith said
“If this thing passes, I guarantee you will see some business owners file for TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission )licenses.”
Smith stressed that passage of Prop A will mean economic growth for the community.
“It would be good to create some tourism,” Smith said. “It would give people an extra incentive to stop and spend money in Ballinger.”