04/12/07 — Seven Springs will consider beer sales

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Seven Springs will consider beer sales

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 12, 2007 1:47 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Voters might get to decide in November whether beer can be sold in Seven Springs.

The Seven Springs Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 Wednesday night during its regular meeting to ask the Wayne County Board of Elections to place a beer referendum on the ballot. The motion, which was made by Rodolph Adams and seconded by Allen Cash, passed when town commissioner Ann Pate tipped the balance to the "yes" column.

Voting against bringing the decision before the residents of Seven Springs were Danny Carter and Bobby Mozingo.

Mayor Steve Potter told the board he received an inquiry from an unnamed individual who wants to re-open an abandoned store on Main Street and sell off-premises beer and groceries. To approve the request, Potter said he would have to call for a vote by Seven Springs residents.

Only residents inside the town limits would be able to vote, and if they decided to allow beer sales, Potter said the state would return to the town some of the beer sales revenue.

But money or no money, Carter said he would not support the sale of any alcoholic beverages in town, adding he would encourage others to vote against the proposal.

"In my opinion, alcohol and drugs have destroyed the biggest part of this country," he said.

Potter said he and the community service workers have had to pick up beer cans in front of the park.

"I find them in my yard every now and then," he said. "It's not being bought here, but it's coming (into town)."

Mozingo said he was getting tired of picking up beer cans in his yard by the river. He said he wanted to talk to residents about the matter before calling for a referendum.

Ms. Pate agreed, saying she wanted to give the residents a chance to voice their opinions.

"All you need to do is run it by them," she said. "Talk to the people."

Carter added that if the residents voted to allow beer sales in town, "it would speak lowly of their character."

"I will start lobbying against it tomorrow -- hard," he said after the vote.

In other business, commissioners voted to call a special meeting April 18 at 7 p.m. to interview two candidates for town clerk. The current clerk, Karen Byrd, has resigned to take another job in Kinston.

The board also adopted a resolution asking the Department of Transportation to create "Welcome to Seven Springs" signs to place at each end of town. The signs would be up to 4.5 feet wide and 3.5 feet tall. A second line would say, "Oldest Town in the County of Wayne."

Seven Springs resident Atlas Price said a group of townspeople has raised the money to cover the costs.

He said the town would have to sign a maintenance agreement with the state.

"Nothing should be needed unless somebody runs over it," he said. "If it's repaired, the DOT bills the town for the cost. Contractors cutting grass tend to run over signs, but the way these signs will be built, they'll tear up something else -- and that will be their machine."