Windsor approves mixed beverages

Published 9:16 am Thursday, March 11, 2010

WINDSOR – The Mixed Beverage Referendum in the town of Windsor passed by more than a two-to-one majority Tuesday.

By a margin of 197-71, voters approved the sale of mixed beverages inside the corporate limits of Windsor.

The vote was approved according to NCGS 18B-602(h) which reads, “To permit the sale of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theaters and convention centers.”

“I think when you examine the whole ball of wax, the commissioners and I were looking for economic development,” Windsor Mayor Jimmy Hoggard said. “Most of the people obviously agreed with that.”

Hoggard said research had shown that even hotels would not locate in an area that didn’t offer mixed beverages and that he thought it was an important step for economic reasons.

The mayor also said he understood those who opposed the measure on moral grounds.

“For those opposed to mixed beverages on moral grounds, I’d like to assure them there won’t be bars on the corners and things of that nature,” Mayor Hoggard said. “It will be in approved restaurants that sell mostly food, clubs and convention centers.”

Collins Cooper, who serves in the dual role of Windsor Commissioner and Executive Director of the Windsor-Bertie County Chamber of Commerce, said it was beneficial for the measure to be approved.

“I’m glad for economic development purposes that is passed,” Cooper said. “It gives us the opportunity to get a hotel, chain restaurant or other business of that nature to locate here.

“We’ve already had some businesses in the area express an interest in coming if the measure passed,” Cooper added.

Bertie County Economic Development Director Steve Biggs said now that the referendum passed, he would use it to attract new business.

“We will certainly use it as an economic development tool,” Biggs said. “If the possibility arises, we will use it with hotels, restaurants or a combination of the two. It certainly has been used in other communities.”

The measure failed in the entirety of Bertie County by a narrow 695-683 margin in November of last year.