Benton County Businesses Not Applying to Sell Liquor

Cyndi Lundeberg

CAMDEN, Tenn. - Benton County residents voted in November to allow liquor to be sold in restaurants and at package stores throughout the area. Despite it now being legal, Mayor Johnson said no person or business has applied for a liquor license.

Michelle Ballard, the owner of Catfish Place in Camden said alcohol will not be on her new 2013 menu. "This is a family business, we don't need that around our kids," she said. "I think our customers are happy, I'm happy, and I'm not willing to change that."

A similar referendum was passed in Lexington, people applied to sell liquor the very next day. In Camden some said liquor will lead to underage drinking, driving under the influence and make roads in Benton County more dangerous.

Police Chief George Smith said he agreed this may aid underage drinking. "The kids are going to get it but you can bet law enforcement will look at it and see what we can do to stop it from happening."

This along with other issues associated with alcohol make some residents very nervous. "I have never heard a person say 'wow my home life is so much better now that my folks drink'," said Camden resident Doyle Williams. "I just do not see any positives associated with more alcohol in our area."

Camden Police Chief Smith said there may be one positive. The city would receive revenue from the sale of liquor which could make the city more safe because the extra funds could benefit law enforcement.

"From the city point of view the city is in need of the money. It would be good revenue for us."


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