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Liquor by the Drink approved in Trenton Tuesday

Trenton voters cast their ballots on a referendum that could allow restaurants to sell liquor drinks. (Image: WTVC){ }

UPDATE:

With a vote of 164 to 143, Liquor by the Drink has been passed in Trenton Tuesday night.

Read more local area elections results at the link here.


PREVIOUSLY:

Voters in Trenton will decide if bringing liquor into their city is the right call. Some say it will help boost the economy but others worry it will compromise the community's safety. The referendum asks, "Shall the governing authority of the City of Trenton, Georgia, be authorized to issue licenses to sell distilled spirits for beverage purposes by the drink?"

When he walked into his polling place today, Paul Gordy wasn't sure how he would vote on the liquor by the drink proposal.

"I can see both sides of the coin," said Paul Gordy. "Because it does draw in revenue but it can also have a drawback as well. Some of the drawbacks is you end up with underage drinking."

In the end, Gordy said yes to liquor.

"Just a judgmental call," said Gordy.

Donna Jones voted yes as well, but doesn't know if the proposal will pass.

"Around here it's hard to say," said Donna Jones. "Some people are such sticklers about liquor they won't go into places where they sell it."

Right now, restaurants in Trenton can sell beer and wine. Pizza Hut and Los Tres Amigos are the only businesses that take advantage of that. The city's Mayor says one business just applied for a license to sell beer. The owner of Los Tres Amigos plans to apply for a liquor license if the vote passes.

"We're going to be keeping people here, buying a product that otherwise they're going out of town to go buy," said Leah Rodus, Los 3 Amigos Co-Owner. "So I think that will be a benefit to the town to keep that income here."

Rodus says she pays the city $1,000 a year to sell beer and wine.

Trenton's Mayor says money from liquor licenses would go to the general fund. Last year in Dade County, voters said yes to selling liquor by the drink but it made no difference to the economy. According to county officials, no one has applied for liquor licenses since the vote passed.

If voters say yes Trenton, Thatcher's BBQ and Grill says they'll follow the rest of the county's lead.

"The whole Thatcher's Barbecue concept has been based on sales without alcohol," said John Thatcher, General Manager of Thatcher's Barbecue and Grill. "It will just add liability. And we've been successful without it."

Within the last two years, Chickamauga and Rossville both voted to allow liquor by the drink. According to Chickamauga officials, only one business sells beer and no one applied for a license to sell liquor.


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