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Cold Beer Coming In The Valley

By David Howell


WATER VALLEY – Stores in Water Valley will be able to sell refrigerated beer in early August after aldermen voted unanimously at last Tuesday’s meeting to amend the city’s beer ordinance.  Although not on the agenda, Alderman-at-Large Herbie Rogers brought up the subject in the waning minutes of the monthly meeting held June 5.

“I think it is very important at this time that we look at our beer ordinance again,” Rogers said, explaining the ordinance needs to be changed to allow business owners to sell beer hot or cold. 

His motioned was seconded by Ward One Alderman Kagan Coughlin, who also provided an explanation for revisiting the ordinance. 

“We have a business that is about to move a short distance but still be incredibly close to Water Valley. They will be on county land and able to sale cold beer,” Coughlin said, referring to work by Sayle Oil Company to build a new store on the north side of Frostland Drive, a location that is outside the city limits and will fall under the county’s beer ordinance that allows the sell of cold beer after supervisors amended the county’s beer ordinance last July. 

The new store will replace the current Exxon store on the south side of Frostland and will be outside of city limits, as the municipal border does not extend to Hwy. 7 on the north side of Frostland.

“I am disappointed about the sales revenue,” Coughlin added about the money spent at the business on which the city receives one penny of the seven cents collected for each dollar spent in sales tax. 

“But for the folks who purchase beer, if it is three minutes away and it’s at a temperature that they prefer, all the sales tax revenue that we have today from this product will leave the city,” Coughlin noted.

“It’s strictly business,” Rogers agreed.

“I can’t argue against that argument,” Mayor Donald Gray said.

“It’s a lot of money,” Ward Four Alderwoman Nicole Folson added. 

“I know a lot of your personal feelings are the same as mine, about alcohol but that is beside the point in this, this is a business decision,” Gray said before the unanimous vote.

Folson also questioned the possibility of annexing the property on which the new store will be located. 

“I have had discussions with Daniel about that, he is going to research some things,” Gray said, referring to Board Attorney Daniel Martin. “That is a long, draw-out process, it is not an overnight thing. But we have got the ball rolling, discussion wise,” Gray added.

Gray added that if the property is annexed, the city needs to be able to provide city services. 

“That being said, we are selling this new business, (located) outside the city, sewage and water,” Gray added, explaining an agreement has already been reached between the city and Sayle Oil Company to allow the business to hook on to the city’s water and sewage at their new location.

“Our services are not just physical, our police and fire are going to be first on scene. And they are paid for by city tax dollars,” Coughlin added.

Following the discussion, Martin said the change to the ordinance will be put in writing for aldermen to approve at their July meeting and will take effect in early August. 

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