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Bell County group sends alcohol petition to Commissioner’s Court

Most of Bell County has plenty of liquor to go around, but for cities like Troy, Rogers and...
Most of Bell County has plenty of liquor to go around, but for cities like Troy, Rogers and Little River Academy, the County’s third precinct, selling drinks has been a challenge for several years.(WBTV File)
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 7:49 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - Most of Bell County has plenty of liquor to go around, but for cities like Troy, Rogers and Little River Academy, the County’s third precinct, selling drinks has been a challenge for several years.

For Rancher John Evans, it’s his dream to have his own distillery near his home in Little River Academy. However, the county’s strict limits in his area have prevented any distilled alcohol to be sold.

That’s why he and President of Texas Petition Strategies John Hatch started a petition to let voters decide on whether the precinct should be allowed to sell and serve.

“We’re close enough to Austin and close enough to Waco that we can bring people in from either of those places as a day trip,” he said.

“I think the area can really become a destination. There’s already a lot of neat things going on around our area, whether it’s downtown Belton, downtown Temple. We’re around 7 minutes or so from those areas. It’s only a 10-minute drive.”

With such a big goal, Hatch believes there’s plenty of proof around the state to support Evans’ ambition.

“Today, there are now 189 distilleries in Texas which do about 1.3 billion a year in economic output,” he said.

“So, the impact of these elections can potentially generate hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Together, the pair got more than 8,000 signatures to get the issue on the November ballot.

With much work left to do, Evans adds that there will be no rounds on him until the vote is approved November 2.

“I think we still got a ways to go just in terms of making sure that people are educated,” he said.

“Why it helps the area, why it helps the county, how it helps the state. It’s not just a local thing.”

The signatures will be verified by the Bell County Commissioners Court in the next few weeks.

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