Poplarville dry no more

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Voters in Poplarville used their ballot to decide if beer and light wine should be sold within the municipality.  After the results were tallied, it was determined about 70 percent chose to allow the sale of those products. Jeremy Pittari | Picayune Item

Voters in Poplarville used their ballot to decide if beer and light wine should be sold within the municipality. After the results were tallied, it was determined about 70 percent chose to allow the sale of those products.
Jeremy Pittari | Picayune Item

The city of Poplarville voted 384-157 for the sale of beer and light wine in the city limits during Tuesday night’s special election.

While the special election saw better turn out than last year’s mayoral and board of alderman election in June, only about one-third of the city’s 1,621 registered voters cast a ballot on the issue.

A total of 543 ballots were cast Tuesday.

Mayor Brad Necaise was pleased with the turnout and what the sale will mean for the future of the city.

“I am pleased 70 percent voted for the referendum because it will clearly keep tax revenue in the city, which was the primary goal,” Necaise said.

He said going forward, the city’s top priority would be taking the concerns of the 29 percent that voted against the sale into consideration.

Necaise said he recognizes there are concerns and said those concerns would be addressed through conservative regulations and ordinances the city will put in place.

He added in the near future, the city will hold a town hall meeting where citizens of Poplarville will be able to voice their suggestions for regulations and also learn about the regulations the city’s administration wants to put in place.

Using other cities’ strict ordinances, like Wiggins, as a baseline, the board and mayor will then hear about additional rules the citizens would like to see implemented.

Before sale can begin, Poplarville Board of Alderman Attorney Martin Smith said, the city will have to send the election results for certification to the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

Once the votes are certified, the board will enter an order accepting the certification from the Department of Revenue and then hold a town hall meeting to discuss the ordinance that would regulate the sale of the beer and light wine, Smith said.

Once an ordinance is drafted and accepted by the board of alderman, the ordinance will be published for 30 days before any businesses can start selling beer and light wine, Smith said.

Smith recommended business owners interested in selling beer and light wine at their facility wait to apply for a license with the Department of Revenue in order to guarantee their license meets ordinance standards.

Necaise said poll workers and volunteers stayed late Tuesday night to complete the polling process so that the results of the election could be mailed to the Department of Revenue on Wednesday.

Smith expects the board to enter an order declaring the certification at Tuesday’s regular board meeting.