• 57°

Booze moves

MURFREESBORO – Consumers of alcoholic beverages will have a new location in Murfreesboro to purchase them in the future. The Murfreesboro Town Council held a public hearing here Wednesday to give citizens a chance to speak for or against relocating the town’s current ABC store.

Chuck Revelle, attorney for the Hertford County ABC Board, was the first to speak during the public hearing. He provided a summary of the proposal for the Council and citizens in attendance.

“The Hertford County ABC Board would like to construct a new ABC store to replace the one that’s on East Main Street,” Revelle explained.

The proposed new location, he stated, is a 1.08-acre plot located on West Main Street between the Dollar General and Graham Hydraulics. The county ABC Board is in the process of purchasing the land, but a state statute requires them to make sure the local municipal government does not oppose the new location.

“The state ABC Board can approve the location regardless, but we put a contingency in the contract for purchase of this property that the town needed to express their consent to putting it at this location,” Revelle continued. “It’s not something the ABC Board wants to do if the town leadership objects to it.”

After Revelle’s short presentation, Mayor Hal Thomas opened up the floor for public comment. No one spoke in opposition, and the only people present in favor of the move were members of the Hertford County ABC Board.

Clarence Jordan, General Manager for the county ABC Board, answered a few questions the Council had. Councilman Billy Theodorakis asked if the Board had heard any opposition to the proposal.

“We have not heard anything negative about building a new store in Murfreesboro, especially not in regards to that location,” Jordan answered.

Councilwoman Berna Stephens asked what would be different about the new store.

Jordan explained the current store, located at 911 East Main Street, is a “counter operation,” meaning the alcohol is stored behind bulletproof glass over an inch thick.

“This [new store] will be an open operation where customers can come in and enjoy the shopping experience,” he said. “People like to enjoy shopping rather than trying to look through what they may consider a foggy glass to see what they want.”

Jordan said he believed that operation change as well as the new location will increase profitability.

Once the public hearing was closed, Theodorakis motioned for a resolution to approve the new location, and Stephens seconded. The Council voted unanimously in favor.