Supporters look forward to mixed drinks in Tift County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Supporters look forward to mixed drinks in Tift County

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November 3, 2004

Tifton-- You could be able to buy a mixed drink in Tift County as early as next month. For some business owners and government leaders the referendum's approval was a big victory.

People who stop inside for a bite at Bergeron's restaurant in Tifton have their choice of an extensive menu and soon the restaurant's owner plans to add one more new item.

"A nice relaxing drink, that's all we want to offer," says restaurant owner ,Hershall Bergeron.

Now that a controversial mixed drink referendum has passed in both Tifton and Tift County that's just what Bergeron plans to do.

Even though it faced stiff opposition the mixed referendum, shot down several times in the past, passed by large margins in the city and county.

City and County officials say referendum will give the area an economic shot in the arm and the 3% excise tax they plan to charge for each drink will mean money in the bank.

"We will be able to enhance our police protection and fire protection. We will be able to enhance streets," says Tifton City manager Charles Howell.

Howell says helping to improve city services is just one of the benefits mixed drink tax money will provide for the cash strapped city.

"This revenue generated by liquor by the drink should certainly help in eliminating future need of tax increases," says Howell.

As well as helping to attract new businesses. Now the city and county will work to hammer out the details of how the licenses will be given out and how much they will cost. But business owners say their  optimistic.

And for them and other supporters of referendum their glasses are already looking half full. Tifton City officials say they plan to look at other cities as decide on how to price the mixed drink license.

They say the price could fall anywhere between $1500 and $3000.

posted at 5:50PM by scott.hunter@walb.com