RUSTON, La. (KTVE/KARD) – Ruston citizens are five days away from early voting for the March 25, 2023, election. Citizens will be asked to vote on five propositions currently on the ballot aiming to sell higher content of alcohol within city limits.
Ruston citizens voted for convenience and groceries stores to sell low-content alcohol 20 years ago, and that included propositions 1, 2, and 5.
But it wasn’t until three major grocery retailers submitted a proposition to sell higher content, and that’s where propositions 3 and 4 are about.
“You have to bring all five options back for a vote. So, the thing that concerns me is that I want to be sure 1, 2 and 5, those are the ones that already pass, continue to get passed again because our restaurants are very important,” said Ruston mayor, Ronny Walker.
Current grocery stores and restaurants sell beer and low volume of wine with less than 6 percent alcohol by volume. Propositions 3 and 4 would allow bars and stores to expand that limit. Walker says the city of Ruston has put strict regulations in place if these propositions pass.
“We think we have the most stringent rules and regulations of any city in the state of Louisiana. So, we are very confident saying to our people you can vote 1,2,3,4,5 all yeses for those.”
If those five propositions pass, those regulations mean that packaged liquor can only be sold in retail stores of 15,000 square feet or bigger, and they have to have something more than liquor.
“We don’t want packaged stores on every corner in our city so how do we protect that? And that’s the reason why we came up with 15,000 square feet,” explained Walker.
The estimated annual revenue for the city of Ruston is $1.5 million.
“Everyone benefits. It’s time for a slight change. I will be voting, and I will be saying yes,” said Harlan Meeske, a Ruston resident.
“I don’t drink at all anyways, but the more business we have, it will be better. We don’t have a whole lot of choices right now,” added Deb, another local.
Early voting begins March 11 and runs through the 18. Election day is March 25, 2023.
Here is a breakdown of the five propositions.
Proposition No. 1 – CURRENTLY ALLOWED (Passed in 2002)
Authority to sell beverages of alcoholic content containing not more than 6% alcohol by volume by package only and not for consumption on the premises in the city.
Proposition No. 2 – CURRENTLY ALLOWED (Passed in 2002)
Authority to sell beverages of alcoholic content containing not more than 6% alcohol by volume for consumption on the premises in the city.
Proposition No. 3 – NOT CURRENTLY ALLOWED
Authority to sell beverage alcohol containing one-half of 1% alcohol by volume and above for consumption on the premises in the city.
Proposition No. 4 – NOT CURRENTLY ALLOWED
Authority to sell beverages containing one-half of 1% alcohol by volume and above by package only and not for consumption on the premises in the city.
Proposition No. 5 – CURRENTLY ALLOWED (Passed in 2002)