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Liquor Store Referendum on Brownsville Ballot

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

It has been a heated discussion in the City of Brownsville for many years. Now a local group of private citizens are banding together, ready to battle it out at the polls.

Hundreds of Brownsville citizens are pushing a 65-page petition that would allow retail package stores to sell alcohol within the city limits.

The Election Commission said local store owner, Charlie Tripp is one of the main figures behind the long list of signatures that qualifies this issue for the ballot.

"I do not want to open up a liquor store, I don't have time to open up a liquor store... bottom line is it's an added source of revenue that we are losing that's leaving this county right now, " said Tripp.

This is not the first time citizens have worked on a package store petition. Back in 2010, the issue failed placement on the ballot due to lack of signatures. State officials said that is no longer the case.

"It seemed like there was more of a consorted effort this time to make sure they did their homework," admitted Andrea Smothers administrator of elections.

Homework that could bring in big revenue for Brownsville.

"Now the City of Brownsville generates over $230,000 in revenue from the sale of beer alone, " said Mayor Jo Matherne.

"I think if it passes, it does make us look better to the outside world, " admitted Tripp.
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