Unofficial results say voters approved alcohol sales in Christma - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Unofficial results say voters approved alcohol sales in Christmastown

MCADENVILLE, NC (WBTV) -

The Gaston County community known as Christmastown USA voted to bring a new kind of spirit to the area Tuesday as neighbors voted yes to alcohol sales.

The unofficial results posted on the Gaston County Board of Elections Web site show that voters approved the sale of malt beverages, unfortified wine and mixed beverages by a narrow margin on each ballot.

Once the results are in and put into practice, people eating out at restaurants could have a drink with dinner. However, it would not allow bars or a liquor store to be built in McAdenville.

Signs "for" and "against" the issue have been popping up in people's yards leading up to Tuesday's vote. A petition drive forced the issue on the ballot.

Kevin Lamp helped gather the signatures on those petitions. He says it's not about ruining the spirit of Christmastown, it's just one step to bring economic development, diversity and investment to McAdenville.

"It's an opportunity...there is a lot more to this than allowing people to drink or not to drink. There's a real risk of seeing McAdenville lose more and more," Lamp said.

Residents are split. Opponents say it's pitting long time residents against newcomers.

"If it passes, it will greatly change the city over a period of time and they will lose that uniqueness of a small town...I believe it will become more commercialized. I believe we will end up with the vices that come along with alcohol," Pastor Walter Griggs said.

McAdenville and two other towns in Gaston County are dry.

If the sales of alcohol had been voted down, it would be a couple of years before proponents would be allowed to bring the issue back for another vote.

 

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved. 

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