Pineville Liquor Debate - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Pineville Liquor Debate

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PINEVILLE, La. - There are some discussions taking place in Pineville about ways to help the city improve their economic development plans. News Channel 5's Nolan Crane shows us why allowing alcohol sales could be a popular option.

Rod Noles is a real estate developer in central Louisiana and he says selling land in Pineville can be challenging because of the alcohol restrictions in the city.

"Twice now we've had a hotel and national hotel chain that wanted to locate in Pineville. When they came and made their site inspection, they passed on the Pineville community because there was no place for their guests to have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner before they retire to their hotel," says Noles.

Alexandria has a lot of restaurants that Pineville doesn't, and residents we spoke to say the laws in Pineville should change to help open the door for more businesses to come.

"We never go to Pineville and that is the reason. When we go out to eat, we want something to drink," says Nikki Wright.

"I'm old enough to buy alcohol, and I think they should make it to where you can buy alcohol anywhere," says Jessica Wheeler.

Mayor Clarence Fields says there are other ways to improve the city's economic development and something needs to be done to help Pineville move forward.

"It's not the fact that advocating the sales of alcohol. It's the things that are factual that we are missing when it comes to restaurants," says Fields.

"There is absolutely no doubt that a community that is dry, that is surrounded by competitive wet communities in terms of alcohol sales, is at a distinct disadvantage," says Noles.

Fields says none of the laws will change without the residents of Pineville having a say in the issue.

"This can become a choice of the people. This is not the mayor, this is not the city council or some elected official saying this is what we are going to do," says Fields.

Fields and the city council say they are also looking at other options to encourage businesses to locate to Pineville.


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