Haughton residents to vote on alcohol sales

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By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

Haughton residents will vote this October on whether to allow alcohol sales in their town.

Earlier this year, citizens of Haughton were asked to sign a petition calling for an election to allow voters to approve additional alcohol sales in stores. Louisiana state law requires 25 precent of the registered voters to sign a petition to have an issue placed on a ballot.

That meant that the petition required approximately 600 signatures of registered voters who live within the city limits of Haughton. 

A total of 743 genuine signatures were obtained from the citizens of the Town of Haughton in support of the election.

Advocates say that changing the laws regarding alcohol sales in the Town of Haughton will help in recruiting major grocery stores and restaurants.

“When people drive out of town to purchase groceries or go out to eat, Haughton loses more than $12 million in valuable tax revenue. Those tax monies could be used by town leaders to repair roads, support law enforcement, and help parks and the needs of our community,” said Haughton Mayor Jack Hicks.

According to the Business Research Center at Southeastern Louisiana University, Haughton is losing more than $12.2 million dollars annually, in local sales to neighboring communities due to the lack of retailers and restaurants that sell alcohol. 

“If this passes, it will most definitely bring new businesses to Haughton. Large grocery store chains and sit-down restaurants want to open their locations in areas that are ‘wet’ so that they may sell alcohol and profit,” said Hicks. 

He added that he has not heard any opposition, saying, “I think that most of our citizens know how much this will profit our area and bring businesses in that they can enjoy.”

A resolution ordering and calling a special election for five propositions was sent to the Secretary of State’s Office. Those propositions are as follows:

  • PROPOSITION No. 1 — Shall the sale of beverages of alcoholic content containing not more than six percent alcohol by volume be permitted by package only and not for consumption on the premises in the Town of Haughton.
  • PROPOSITION No. 2 — Shall the sale of beverages of alcoholic content containing not more than six percent alcohol by volume for consumption on the premises be permitted in the Town of Haughton.
  • PROPOSITION No. 3 — Shall the sale of beverage alcohol containing one-half of one percent alcohol by volume and above for consumption on the premises be permitted in the Town of Haughton.
  • PROPOSITION No. 4 — Shall the sale of beverages of alcoholic content containing one-half of one percent alcohol by volume and above by the package only and not for consumption on the premises be permitted in the Town of Haughton.
  • PROPOSITION No. 5 — Shall the sale of beverages of high and low alcoholic content be permitted only on the premises of restaurant establishments which have been issued an “R” permit as defined by law in the Town of Haughton.