Proposal to allow alcohol sales at restaurants could be on November ballot

Posted: 3:28 PM, Jun 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-25 01:31:46Z

The McGregor Chamber of Commerce is applying for a petition to ask voters if they approve the legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants.

The organization would have collect signatures from 35 percent of the people who voted in the last gubernatorial election for the measure to be on the ballot. 

Currently, restaurants in the McGregor area allow people to bring in beer and wine for consumption on their premises. Other businesses have special permits that allow them to sell alcohol to those who pay a membership fee. The establishments registered as private clubs can't make a profit from the alcohol sales and are subject to strict record-keeping requirements by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. 

“This would legitimize it and make it where the rules are the same for everyone. It would certainly make it more attractive for new restaurants to come to our community," McGregor Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Houchin said.

The proposal aims to prepare the town for anticipated growth in the future. One of the projects includes a commercial development that would be located near the McGregor Executive Airport.

"This is really more for bigger restaurants. They won't come if they can't sell alcoholic beverages in their restaurants," Houchin said. 

He added it would be beneficial for the economy. 

“It’s going to bring sales tax revenue, might bring in jobs, if restaurants come here or are able to come here because they see this a good climate for business," Houchin said.

If the measure goes on the ballot this November, voters like Mary Dockery would have the final say on the matter.

“I don’t see any harm in it, as long as people keep it civil, keep it nice, just a friendly atmosphere," Dockery said.

The McGregor resident added that it would attract new businesses.

“It would be great to bring people in, definitely and make it grow a little bit more," Dockery said.

Most of the people Central Texas News Now spoke with on Monday didn't have strong opinions on the proposal. Two people who declined an on camera interview said they wouldn't support the measure, in part because it would change the family atmosphere of the town. 

The Chamber of Commerce would have 60 days to collect the signatures in favor of putting the measure on the ballot.

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