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No Mixed Drinks in Ocilla

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By Scott Hunter

November 5, 2003

Erwin County--It was a close vote, but people in Ocilla said no to the sale of liquor by the drink. Just six votes separated the yeses and no's, an indication of just how divided the town is on the issue. Business leaders wanted it to spur growth and development. But opponents had their reasons, too. Roxie Crain's family are co-owners of Ocilla's newest business the Shoppes at Fourth and Cherry. Business has been good. "We are hoping to draw more business more restaurants to draw people and families and shoppers just be a nice calm place, relaxing place for people to come, " say Crain. But the hope to bring diverse business to the area may have been put off with the failure of the referendum of the sale of mixed drinks. But those who voted for the ban.. think differently "I just feel very strongly about it. I'm a sinner saved by grace and I love the Lord and I love this community" says Kenneth Sutten ,a driving force behind voting down the proposal. He and supporters handed out protest flyers and even took out an ad against the referendum in the city's paper. "We have a fine community good people ,good Christian people and I just feel like this is something that we don't need." Sudden says the idea of selling liquor by the glass is a step in wrong direction for the town. "I'm just as progressive as anyone is because I feel like we do need to grow. This is not the right way to grow. This is not the way to have God look at us in a favorable way. But voting no meant voting against new city revenue. "It would be a revenue for the city if we could get it passed. It would help off set the property taxes that are already high. But it seems many voter agree that price of supporting their beliefs for outweigh any montary losses in the future, say Greg Giddens ,City Administrator.

 Posted by Scott Hunter at 6:47 by scott.hunter@walb.com

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