Rockingham Co. to vote on liquor by the drink

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — County officials hope residents vote for the legalization of mixed drink sales in rural areas of the county during the May 6 primary.

County Manager Lance Metzler says it’s the best way to attract big business.

Currently, only businesses within five of the county’s six cities can serve mixed drinks, beer and wine. Businesses in rural areas are limited to just beer and wine — a turn off for potential restaurants.

He says mixed drinks are a money maker at big name restaurants and drawing more to the area would mean more money and jobs.

“At the local level, we’re struggling,” Metzler said. “We need to have an opportunity to have other ways to be able to raise revenues.”

But some think the county could come up with a drier approach to economic growth.

“We could do more to educate our children,” said Pastor Tommy Massey, of Growing Oaks Church. “We could do more in this county other than promote the sale of alcohol to increase revenues.”

Massey says on Tuesday, residents should let their conscience be their guide.

“No matter what the outcome of the vote is, you can’t legislate morality,” Massey said.

The last time the issue was on the ballot in Rockingham County was in 1973.

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