ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Petitions will be circulating soon calling for a liquor referendum that would affect all of Limestone County. Alcoholic beverages are already available in the incorporated areas of the county, but this measure would expand that to include the entire county. Proponents say it would mean more money for schools and road improvements.
Of course, it’s not a question of being able to get a drink in limestone county. It’s more of a question of how far are you willing to drive.
“Even though its probably going to be tough and its pretty controversial, I’m sure, I feel like its best for Limestone County to have the option,” says Seth Parker, who is leading an effort to bring the issue up for a vote across the county.
Parker says in a few days, the petitions will be out and available for residents to sign if they want to see the measure on a referendum.
“Based on our research, we figure we’re missing out on a million dollars a year and that number is probably closer to $1.2 to $1.5 million dollars thats going to places like Huntsville and Madison. Athens is getting their portion, of course, so at least some of it is staying home,” Parker says.
The City of Athens approved legal sales a decade ago and typically gets over $600,000 a year now from the sale of alcohol. Much of that money goes to the school system. It would be up to the county commission to decide how Limestone County would use the additional funds, if voters approved it.
Parker says he’s only cautiously optimistic the measure will pass because so many have a moral or religious objection. He also says voters in Athens would likely oppose it because of increased competition. He hopes to get the measure before voters in January.