Ballot measures allowing restaurants to serve alcohol could bring growth for Tri-Cities towns

GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- For some Tri-Cities towns, a ballot measure allowing restaurants to serve alcohol could be a gateway for growth.

With a population of just under 3,000 “liquor by the drink” barely passed Tuesday in the town of Mosheim in Greene County.

Fifty-five percent of the town voted to allow restaurants to serve drinks with an alcoholic content higher than five percent.Most Tri-Cities towns and cities have this already.

Mosheim’s Mayor Tommy Gregg said he hopes this will help attract restaurants that have said no to this small town in the past.

“We’ve lost a couple of good restaurants,” Gregg said.

He has a spot in mind for new restaurants, exit 23 off Interstate 81. “There could be a lot of development, a lot of ground available down there,” Gregg said.

Gregg said the tax off the liquor sales will also bring in some needed revenue.

“In order to offer the services that the people demand, and we don’t have a property tax we’re solely operating off of their sales tax and their revenue, somewhere along the way we’re going to have to have more tax revenue,” Gregg said.

Just down the road, Greeneville has allowed liquor by the drink for about three decades now.

“The better restaurants, if you don’t have liquor by the drink, they, they’re just not you know they’re not interested in locating in your community unfortunately,” Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels said.

Daniels said it has brought in restaurants and tax revenue for the community.

Also in Greene County, Tusculum voted to allow liquor by the drink and voted to allow retail package stores to sell alcoholic beverages.

Both Tusculum and Mosheim will have to pass ordinances before you will see alcoholic drinks at restaurants.

Two other  towns will now have wine for sale in stores. The town of Erwin voted to allow wine sales in retail stores. In the town of Unicoi, voters decided to allow wine sales at the grocery store.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.

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