Proponents and opponents both speak out on issue of alcohol sales in Poplarville

The residents of Poplarville may soon have a decision to make soon on whether to approve the sale of beer and light wine.

The residents of Poplarville may soon have a decision to make soon on whether to approve the sale of beer and light wine.

The residents of Poplarville may soon have a decision to make soon on whether to approve the sale of beer and light wine.

There are residents that fall on both sides of the issue.

Bill Winborn, former Poplarville alderman, said he has been a proponent of the beer and light wine sale for many years.

“I would like to see it go through because it would be an economic boost,” Winborn said.

He said it wouldn’t be the only amount of revenue that would come in from the sales, but the other businesses and industries that come into Poplarville.

Pat Morris said, “As a business owner in Poplarville I see the need for growth through a tax of some kind without taxing property owners.”

Morris said he doesn’t think the sale being introduced to the city will affect the DUI rates.

“Why should we give revenue to another state to purchase it, or give revenue to another city purchase it,” Morris said.

While there are those that approve of the sale and think it will have a positive effect on the city and business, there are those who don’t think selling beer and light wine is a good idea.

Christopher Hoelzel, pastor of Crossroads United Pentecostal Church, said, “I personally don’t think we need it. I don’t think its good for our kids.”

Hoelzel added that “it’s just not healthy” and it wouldn’t set a good example for the children in the community.

“I don’t recommend drinking to anyone,” said Doug Toomey. Toomey, a Seventh Day Adventist, said “as a church, we do not feel drinking is nether healthy nor safe.”

He added that he is not “enthused” about the increase in opportunity for people to drink if the sale is approved through an election.

Poplarville Police Chief Charles Fazende said when the approval of liquor by the drink was introduced in Picayune, there was concern of a rise in DUI offenses. Fazende said he doesn’t have those concerns for Poplarville.

“I look for them (bad things) to go down. The simple fact is, that whether they buy it here or buy it somewhere else, they are going to buy it. It makes it more dangerous to have them on the road drinking the alcoholic beverages on the way home,” Fazende said.

Winborn said that ultimately “It’s not up  to the board of alderman, its up to the public.”

Once the petition with the correct amount of certified signatures is presented to the Board of Alderman, Poplarville residents will vote on the issue.

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