Back in 2005, the citizens of Atoka voted to allow liquor stores in their town.
Now, 13 years later, Munford's citizens will have a chance to do the same thing.
A few weeks ago Jack Bomar, a Munford alderman, and others began circulating a petition around town to get the issue on the Nov. 6 ballot. The necessary amount of signatures was 142, which is 10 percent of the amount of Munford citizens who voted for governor in 2014. Bomar said about 150 people signed the petition.
Why does Bomar want liquor stores in Munford? Tax revenue.
He said he was told that Atoka received nearly $1 million in tax money over the last seven years from its two liquor stores.
“The main thing I'm proposing it for is the revenue we're losing in having two liquor stores just right across the highway,” Bomar said. “Even if we got half that, or say 40 percent of that, that's money we could use to fund programs in the city and hopefully keep real estate taxes down.”
Bomar said a person came to the city in March wanting to open a liquor store in Munford and that prompted the petition.
“I've done research on towns in West Tennessee and we're one of the few cities our size that doesn't have it,” Bomar said.
All but two people who were asked signed the petition, Bomar said.
He does, however, expect there will be some people against the idea.
“I'm sure there will be some push back from some of the churches, I know there was when Munford passed liquor-by-the drink, but it passed overwhelmingly,” Bomar said. “I personally think it will pass, but I don't know. Let's just put it out there and let people decide.”
As Bomar said, Munford restaurants can sell liquor. Margaritas is about to open in Munford on Highway 51 just north of Crosstown.
“It didn't make any sense to me that you can go over there (Margaritas) and buy all the drinks you want to and drive home,” Bomar said. “This would be off-premises just like it is in any other municipality.”
If the referendum passes, Munford will then create an ordinance to regulate it. Bomar said he thinks the number of stores would be limited to two or three and added that, because of zoning, it's likely they would be located on Highway 51.