Sumter Co. business fights for liquor license -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Sumter Co. business fights for liquor license

A room full of people supported the business (Source:WALB) A room full of people supported the business (Source:WALB)
Craig Walker, Sumter Co. resident (Source:WALB) Craig Walker, Sumter Co. resident (Source:WALB)
Stephen Jackson, neighbor (Source:WALB) Stephen Jackson, neighbor (Source:WALB)

No decision Wednesday from Sumter County Commissioners on whether to approve what is becoming a controversial alcohol license request.

Two men with a petition of fifty signatures in hand faced a room full of folks standing behind a proposal to allow Sam's Package Store on Jenkins Road to sell liquor. 

"This community has been built up since he's been here," Stephen Jackson, a neighbor to the business, said. "We've had no problems. I'm right around the corner from the gas station. The main thing about it is that we don't have to go far. So, instead of going three or four miles into town. We can go right around the corner."

A handful of others echoed that cry including business owner Sam Patel. Patel said he makes a big effort to ensure his business, which already sells beer and wine, is clean and safe. 

But there were complaints. Some of those stirred up folks in the crowd far from the podium.

One neighbor was upset about litter and traffic. Another man, who was not from the neighborhood, said liquor stores don't give back to the community.

"What affects one side of town, when there is a robbery or car break in, they just don't say a certain street they stigmatize the whole town," Sumter County resident Craig Walker said. 

Walker said that could hurt other businesses and tourism, but for those on the other side of the argument, priorities lie at the intersection of convenience and community.

County commissioners plan to decide whether to award the liquor license to Sam's Package Store next Tuesday.

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