To drink, or not to drink, Gatesville now has an answer. The small town voted last night to drink, allowing alcohol sales in city limits. But not all Gatesville residents are celebrating.
In a small Texas town like Gatesville, alcohol is hard to find. Margaret Parks has lived her all her life, and was never happy about the town's ban on alcohol sales. "I live all the way across town and having to drive out of town to get alcohol and stuff is an inconvenience," she said.
But now, that's all changed. Voters passed two propositions on election night. One will allow grocery and convenience stores to sell beer and wine and the other will allow restaurants to sell mixed drinks.
That didn't surprise Ollie Inmon, a councilman and member of the Gatesville Committee for Economic Growth. "So many people had told me that I won't sign your petition but you get it on the ballot, I'll vote for it and they did." And when asked why, he said, "Churches. All of them are good church going members, good people, but they didn't want their preacher to see their name on the petition."
Ollie says alcohol will add 39 jobs and give the city more than $91,000in taxes. But not everyone is sold.
"We can do other things to bring money into this place, I mean it's a small town but why alcohol?," said Justin Olson.
But Margaret thinks selling alcohol is just what Gatesville needed to grow. "Hopefully more restaurants will be able to build out and expand this town instead of everybody driving out of town to drink," she said.
Once votes are canvassed, restaurants and stores will be able to start the process of applying for a liquor license.
KCEN News spoke with several restaurant in Gatesville about Propositions 1 and 2 but because it is an issue divided amongst its residents, they would not speak to us on camera.