Collins passes liquor

By PAT BROWN,

In a special election last week, the City of Collins approved going “wet” in regard to the sale of alcohol.  Exactly what this entails is not yet clear.

  City Clerk Suzette Davis said they are currently waiting on information from the State Department of Revenue to determine what the next step is in establishing the procedures for implementation of the new guidelines for alcohol sales. 

City leaders are currently in discussion as how liquor will be sold, for example, by the drink or in package stores.  Davis said four different individuals had expressed interest in opening a package store on Wednesday after the election.  She said she deferred the questions to the State Department of Revenue.  

Davis said there had been discussion as to whether alcohol sales may improve the chances of attracting a big chain restaurant.  She expressed optimism about the possibility. 

With Collins being the county seat of Covington County, the city was able to get the wet status independently of the rest of the county.  A recent push for the legalization of alcohol in Simpson County failed because Magee is not 5,000 in population or the county seat. 

According to Davis, there were 294 votes in favor of going wet compared to 107 against.  The statute requires that 20 percent of the electorate or 1,500, whichever is less, is required to petition for a referendum.  Davis said the vote was certified and sent to the Secretary of State. 

So far no date has been determined for alcohol sales to be legalized though beer sales are currently legal.  At this point the only resriction from the city is a privilege tax. Other issues will be determined following direction from the Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Department of Revenue.