On Monday, Yadkin County commissioners approved a resolution to include a vote on countywide alcohol sales on the Nov. 4 ballot.
In three separate motions, residents will be given the opportunity to vote for or against the sale of malt beverages, operation of an ABC store and the sale of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theaters and convention centers.
“Almost every where [in the county] there’s already alcohol being served, basically the only thing this will do is allow the county to start receiving its per-capita share of the alcohol tax, which is approximately $90,000 a year,” said County Manager Aaron Church. “Without that [countywide alcohol approval] we won’t get the tax whether the towns have alcohol or not. This is somewhat of a technical resolution because all of the higher populated areas already have alcohol and as I understand it, some places are even being satellite annexed into town so they can sell alcohol, so even the service stations have the alcohol. It’s really just a measure to be able to get the tax that’s due to the county.”
Church said the per-capita tax revenue that would come to the county if alcohol sales are voted in would take away very little alcohol tax revenue from each town.
There were several distilleries in Yadkin County prior to prohibition. Following the prohibition era, local historians say the county went dry again in the 1950s. In the wake of the quickly growing area wine industry, voters approved the countywide sale of unfortified wines in May of 2006.
In 2008, a countywide referendum for malt beverage sales, an ABC store and mixed beverage sales was on the ballot, but all three failed.
In 2006, Yadkinville residents voted for an ABC store, malt beverage and mixed beverage sales. East Bend passed a malt and mixed beverage referendum in 2009, and Boonville voters approved malt and mixed beverage sales in 2011.
Last year, despite very vocal opposition from area church leaders, Jonesville voters passed malt and mixed beverage sales and approval for an ABC Store.
Also at Monday’s meeting, County Extension Director Colleen Church announced that Yadkin County was selected as the North Central District winner of the Cooperative Extension County Government Partnership award. The commissioners and County Manager Aaron Church will be presented the award at the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners annual conference next weekend in Asheville. County Chairman Kevin Austin and County Manager Aaron Church are both presenters at the conference.
The commissioners also approved the purchase and installation of a Muffin Monster sewage grinder for the Yadkin County Detention Center. There presently is a grate that keeps debris from the jail from clogging the town’s sewer system, but it often becomes full and needs to be cleaned. The Muffin Monster will separate out the trash, eliminating the need for regular cleaning of the grate and will keep the town’s sewer system clear from becoming clogged.
Several pieces of property jointly owned by the county and the town of Jonesville were declared surplus on Monday and the titles are to be conveyed to Jonesville, with the stipulation that it may be subject to tax liens. The three properties are located near 115 Foster St., at 416 W. Main St. and at 114 Osborne St. in Jonesville.
“The value of the property most likely would not exceed the cost of having the property auctioned,” Church said. “The town of Jonesville has some things they would like to do with the property and it would most likely cost the county more to keep the property than to convey it to Jonesville.”
The architectural drawings and authorization to go out for bid on the proposed new Agriculture and Education Center slated to become home to several county offices and part of the Surry Community College campus on U.S. 601 also were approved on Monday.
The next meeting of the Yadkin County Board of Commissioners will be held at 9 a.m. on Sept. 2 as the county offices are closed on Sept. 1 for Labor Day.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.