Roosevelt County considers allowing alcohol sales

New Mexico
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One of the last dry counties in the state may not stay that way much longer. That’s if the Roosevelt County Commission Chair Shane Lee can get enough support.

That commission chair, Shane Lee, says he sees great opportunity at the fairgrounds for events, but many sponsors are alcohol companies and don’t even give the county a second look because of their liquor laws.”I think in the 21st century it’s something that we should go forward with,” said Lee.

Lee brought the idea up at last week’s commission meeting. He says residents in favor of alcohol sales have been asking him about it for years. Currently, no alcohol sales are allowed, not even beer and wine.

In addition to opening the door for more development within the county, the change would also allow more event sponsors for things like rodeos and concerts. They would also be able to host beer gardens and wine tastings at the fairgrounds.

While the fairgrounds sit in Portales city limits and Portales does allow alcohol sales, the fairgrounds belong to the county, which does not.

Lee says he hopes to have the issue on the ballot as early as this November, but since it’s still in the early stages he says he’d be happy if it was by 2020.

“In the last few years, we’ve had a local winery come in, a local brewery…they want to bring their craft and out and show them, so it’s something I thought I would bring to the voters, let them decide,” he said.

Some of the towns that would be affected are Elida, Dora, Floyd and Kenna.

Residents say in Elida off camera were divided. Some said they didn’t mind the possible change, while others said it’ll only bring trouble. The only county left in the state besides Roosevelt that doesn’t allow alcohol sales is neighboring Curry County.

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