Beer sales battle brewing in Jellico

JELLICO, Tenn. (WVLT)- A fight over beer sales is stirring up passions in Jellico.

On first reading, an effort to repeal a decades old law...keeping alcohol sales farther away from churches and schools...has passed.

But another vote remains...and the fight's far from over.

Paston Mike Sutton says,
"We wasn't expecting it. There was no notification to the church that this was going to take place."

Crouches Creek Baptist Church pastor, Mike Sutton, says he and his congregation hope the power of prayer can make a difference.

They want the two thousand foot buffer zone to stay in place.

That would keep businesses like the Rocky Top Market across the street...roughly 300 feet away...from being unable to put up signs announcing beer sales.

Paston Sutton says,
"We don't need it here, there's an ordinance set in 1968. It's been that way for that long and I don't see the need in it. I don't think it's going to help the town."

But not everyone agrees. Off camera, Alderman Tommy Bowlin, told Local 8 News, the town hopes to raise more money from the move.

Pastor Sutton doesn't think allowing businesses this close...to a house of worship or place of learning...is worth the cost.

The city's high school is just down the street.

"The students have to go by this store, everyday. And they're going to buy here. And the kids don't need that in their face."

It's unclear if the proposal will survive the next round.
A special meeting to decide the ordinance's fate is set for Monday at five, at Jellico Town Hall.


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