Stores in Pineville petition to be able to sell alcohol

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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - Is not being able to serve alcohol hurting businesses? Stores like Walmart and Super One seem to think so ... so much so that they have initiated petitions for alcohol to be sold in their stores.

"In my opinion, I prefer they do not sell alcohol," said central Louisiana resident, Peggy Dickerson.

"I don't see why they shouldn't," said Frank Dunn. "I mean, everybody else does their thing. To me, if it helps the economy and everything, I’m all for it."

Compared to Alexandria, the city of Pineville’s current laws concerning alcohol are pretty strict.

"The people here within our corporate limits passed a measure to allow alcohol sales only in restaurants," said Pineville mayor, Clarence Fields.

But stores like Super One and Walmart are petitioning for more.

"Walmart would like to sell beer and wine in their stores. They can't do that right now," said Hatch Consulting Group Campaign Coordinator, Stephannie Goodman.

So the stores partnered with Hatch Consulting Group (HCG) based out of Austin, Texas, to try to make it possible.

"All we're doing is talking to the voters in the area and just explaining to them the initiative and what it would bring to their community," Goodman said.

In order to get the topic on Pineville’s December ballot, the petition has to have around 2.100 signatures made up of registered voters within the city limits.

"When they go somewhere else and shop, say down the road to Alexandria, typically they are not just going in there to buy beer and wine,” said Goodman. “They are going in there to pick up their wine for a party or whatever, plus groceries. So, that's revenue and sales that could be going to this Walmart or the Super One down the road."

While some are all for the idea ...

"I think that would be great because I feel as if anybody that wants the alcohol ... a river is separating Pineville and Alexandria, and if I really want it, I’m going to go across to Alexandria,” said Jacqueline Loyd. “So, why should Alexandria get our taxes?"

Others are opposed.

"I just think that has the opportunity to have more people on the road drinking and driving,” expressed Nita Wiley. “Not that it's going to stop people from drinking, but that's just adding the opportunity to have more people out on the roads, so totally not for it."

Mayor Fields wanted to make it clear though, that this is not the city of Pineville’s initiative.

"I was paid a visit last Friday not knowing they already had boots on the ground," Fields said.

But he also wants to make sure that everyone's voice is heard.

"I’m only one vote and that vote is behind the curtains,” said Fields. “There are many others there who should have an opportunity, if it comes to this, to make that decision."

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