SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – Johnston County commissioners are making an effort to standardize beer and wine sales in the county.
On Monday, they approved a referendum for this fall’s ballot to allow voters to decide if convenience stores in rural areas can sell beer and wine to go. Right now, some can and some can’t, depending on their location.
Tucker’s Country Store and Gas sells just about everything – hardware, auto batteries, chips and snacks —but does not sell beer and wine.
Denny Tucker said that hurts his business.
“It would pick it up,” he said. “It would help me pay the light bill and rent because it’s a struggle.”
Tucker said he has seen customers come in only to leave again because they can’t buy beer. He said they asked if he sells beer, and if he says no, then they turn around and walk right back out.
Locals know the law and are puzzled by it.
One local, Buck McLamb, said of the referendum, “You’re selling three miles this way and two miles left, so I don’t see the problem selling it right here.”
Now that the issue is coming up for a vote, it’s got support in this part of the county.
Glen Turnage said he supports the sale of beer and wine and would “probably vote for it.”
And Russell Murray, who supports the change, said, “I would be in favor of everyone getting a piece of the pie.”
The County Commissioners believe placing the question on the ballot is the most fair way to let people decide on the issue.