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Mixed drinks up for vote in Landis

By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post

LANDIS ó Voters will decide whether mixed drinks will be served in Landis with a simple yes or no vote. The issue is appearing on the May primary ballot. “The town board wanted to get it on the ballot strictly as an economic development tool,” Town Administrator Reed Linn said.

Economic development is a major reason, but not the only one, he added. “If someone is looking to relocate here, it could be an added advantage,” Linn said.

China Grove and Kannapolis passed mixed beverages. China Grove voters made the decision in November 2007, and Kannapolis did the same in March 2002.

The ballot reads: Landis Mixed Beverage Election. To permit the sale of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theaters and convention centers.

Nancy Evans, director of the Rowan County Board of Elections explained why the town had to put the issue on the May ballot.

“The statute says an ABC election cannot be held at the same time as a general election year,” Evans said.

The only alternatives Landis had available were to hold a separate election at a cost to them or wait until the municipal election in 2009, she said.

The board discussed placing the issue on the May ballot back in February. Mayor Dennis Brown said at the time that several people inquired about it.

As of Wednesday, Linn said he’s heard of no real opposition or approval.

“I have not received any calls. And to my knowledge, there have been no calls at town hall,” he said.

Asked what the lack of response could mean, Linn said he didn’t know.

Alderman Tony Hilton said at the February meeting that Landis would be the “odd man out” if they did not acquire liquor by the drink since both of Landis’ neighbors ó Kannapolis and China Grove ó have liquor by the drink.

Hilton motioned for the issue to be placed on the May ballot, Alderman Craig Sloop agreed and added it was a decision not for the board, but the people.

Alderman James Furr also voted for the issue to appear on next month’s ballot.

For the measure to pass, a majority must vote in favor of it.

Voters are to mark either yes or no on the ballot. “Go ahead and get it on the ballot and let the voters decide,” Linn said.

Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.

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