Alcohol Petition Stirs Up Gaines County

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

A group hoping to be able to pop bottles in Gaines County is on the hunt for signatures. This week, petitioners came together in hopes of creating a liquor license for the dry county. It's an issue that's dividing neighbors.

If they want to buy alcohol, people in Gaines County have to drive into their neighboring counties to get it, money that some say could have stayed in their local economy.

"We're just missing out on a lot of the sales tax and revenue that could be ours," Seminole Mayor and Organizer, Wayne Mixon, said.

That's why about fifteen neighbors decided to circulate a petition calling for a liquor license, and Seminole Mayor Mixon got the ball rolling.

"It won't be easy, but I think it's obtainable," he said.

Not everyone in Gaines County thinks selling alcohol is a good idea. In fact, they say it's dangerous.

"I think the increase of alcohol-related accidents and arrests would increase," First Baptist Youth Pastor, Jase Waller said. "I mean, it's just common sense."

Waller tells NewsWest 9 this petition caught him by surprise.

"It's a bad idea because there's no reason to put things in front of students that they're not allowed to have legally anyway, and say, let's make it easier for you to have," Waller said.

Mixon hopes the license will bring growth to Seminole and Gaines County.

"We also feel like to obtain a chain restaurant such as Chili's or Applebees or one of those type restaurants that we're not going to get it as long as they can't have alcohol sales," Mixon said.

But Waller says their county doesn't need a liquor license to expand.

"Gaines County is growing," he stated. "We have a shortage of homes now. We can't put people in homes now."

The petitioners have to find 890 signatures in 60 days. If they're successful, county officials will put the issue before voters during an election.