Within the next three months, liquor could be available for purchase in the town of Bartonville depending on the results of a local option election.
Beer and wine are already sold in the town of 1,600 and Town Administrator Debbie Millican said, as far as she knows, the May election is a first.
“I would have to research it,” Millican said. “But to my knowledge, it has never come up, and I’ve been here 10 years.”
Randy Nunn, owner of the Lone Star Country Store at FM 407 and FM 1830 as well as the Justin Spirits liquor store in Justin, initiated the petition for the sale of liquor and said that it is his plan to open a liquor store in Bartonville if the petition is passed.
“The city has been kind of wanting to do this for years because of the revenue,” Nunn said. “They hope to put one or maybe two more police officers in full time, which would be cool. I really didn’t want to do it at first, because it’s a pain in the neck to go knocking on doors.
“We did it 15 years ago to get beer and wine voted in. I opened the Justin Spirits store to kind of test the waters, and it is awesome, and the store in Bartonville would be the classiest thing you’ve ever seen.”
While the perception can exist that liquor stores bring with them a bad element, Nunn said just the opposite has been the case with his Justin store.
“We’ve had absolutely no problems at all,” Nunn said. “In Bartonville, people either drink or they don’t, and that’s fine. But we had very few people, less than one percent, say ‘I really don’t want that’, which is not a problem.
“People are going to Paradise (in Corral City) or Highland Village right now to buy their liquor, and we experienced more people that said, ‘well, I don’t drink, but I sure would like to see the sales tax revenue stay in the city.’ So everything has been very positive.”
Longtime Bartonville resident Annemarie Moore is one of those people that says she has no problem with the sale of liquor within the town limits.
“I do not have a problem with it,” Moore said. “I have spoken to some of my neighbors and their opinions are the same as mine and my husband’s. We feel that anyone wishing to purchase liquor will do so somewhere and Bartonville can use the sales tax as well.”