Lewiston Woodville rejects ABC store

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2022

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WINDSOR – A plan to place an ABC store in Lewiston Woodville isn’t supported by the town’s elected officials or by at least some of its residents.

At their regularly scheduled meeting on April 4, the Bertie County Board of Commissioners were presented a resolution that opposes a plan by the county’s ABC Board to open a store in that town.

Lewiston Woodville Mayor Dr. Chris Cordon, joined by two members of the Town Council, presented the resolution to the commissioners for their review and consideration.

“We are here to seek concurrence and agreement from the Bertie County Board of Commissioners to support no further consideration for the location of an ABC store in the Town of Lewiston Woodville and its municipal boundaries,” Cordon told the commissioners during the Public Comments portion of the meeting.

Cordon said she and the Council members represented the many voices of their municipality. The Mayor pointed to a public hearing conducted March 22 by the Lewiston Woodville Town Council to receive comment about the proposed ABC store. She said approximately 75 individuals attended who either resided inside the town limits or in the nearby West Bertie area.

“It was asked by a show of hands as to how many opposed the ABC store coming to Lewiston Woodville,” Cordon stated. “To my understanding, everyone there raised their hand against it. But to further clarify, it was asked a second time if there was anyone in favor of the ABC store coming. No one was in favor of or expressed an interest in an ABC store coming to Lewiston Woodville.”

The resolution noted that the Mayor and all Council members of the governing body for the Town of Lewiston-Woodville raised their hands to object to the ABC store planned for the town.

While North Carolina law (General Statue 18B-801) allows a local ABC Board to choose the location of ABC stores within its jurisdiction, the final decision rests with the North Carolina ABC Commission. In reaching a decision, that authoritative body may take into consideration whether the health, safety, or general welfare of the community will be adversely affected, or whether the citizens of the community or city in which the proposed store is to be located voted for or against ABC stores in the last election.

While the proposed ABC store for Lewiston Woodville was not put on an official ballot for the citizens of that town to decide, Cordon is convinced that the show of hands at the March 22 meeting is enough to demonstrate to the Bertie ABC Board that the town doesn’t want the store.

“I called, no one called me, and I understand that an ABC store will not be in Lewiston Woodville,” Cordon said, responding to a question from Bertie Commissioner Tammy Lee about any updates from the ABC Board since the town’s meeting on March 22.

“That’s my understanding; I haven’t received anything officially in writing or a call to me personally,” Cordon added.

When asked by Lee who did Cordon call for that information, she said Miles Davis Jr., Chairman of the Bertie County ABC Board.

“He said we would get a letter, it’s forthcoming,” Cordon said.

Included in the resolution presented by Cordon, it made reference to a discussion for approximately five years between the Bertie Commissioners and the Bertie ABC Board regarding a proposed ABC store in Lewiston Woodville. That proposal, according to the resolution, was brought to the attention of the Lewiston Woodville Town Council in January 2021. It further stated that the Bertie County ABC Board erected signage announcing its intention to locate a new ABC Store in space currently occupied by a coin-operated laundry mat at the Duck Thru

convenience store, located at the intersection of NC 11 and Church Street.

In addition to requesting the Bertie Commissioners to not support the ABC store in Lewiston Woodville, the resolution also resolved the following:

Formally request the Bertie County ABC Board withdraw its application to the State ABC Commission, thereby canceling its intent to establish and locate an ABC store in Lewiston Woodville.

Seek concurrence and agreement from the Bertie County ABC Board to support no further consideration for an ABC store at any location in the Town of Lewiston Woodville and its municipal boundaries.

Direct the Town Clerk to prepare correspondence to the North Carolina ABC Commission formally objecting to the location of a new ABC store as proposed…..or anywhere in

Lewiston Woodville. This correspondence should emphasize the Town of Lewiston Woodville seeks to prevent any future consideration for an ABC store without the express approval, by a majority vote, of the governing body in a lawfully noticed public meeting.

The aforementioned correspondence should be prepared for the mayor’s signature and copies provided to Bertie County’s legislative delegation in the N.C. General Assembly and to the Office of the Governor, the Honorable Roy Cooper.

The Bertie Commissioners accepted the resolution from Cordon, but took no action.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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