Covering Louisiana

Oct 7, 2013 11:28 AM by AP (Photo courtesy; MGN online)

Pineville voters to decide alcohol issue

If there is major resistance to loosening alcohol restrictions in Pineville, Mayor Clarence Fields tells The Town Talk he hasn't seen it.

Voters in Pineville will decide Oct. 19 whether to allow restaurants to serve alcohol. All alcohol sales are currently prohibited in the city.

"As far as what I'm hearing, people have been positive," Fields said. "We have had a lot of questions. What we've tried to do is provide people the information they need for when they go to the polls.

"Obviously, we haven't been promoting it. That's not up to us. Our job is to help educate so that when they vote, they're making an informed decision."

Early voting for the election started Saturday and continues through Saturday, Oct. 12.

Pineville officials moved to hold an election on the "restaurant only" option as a means of opening up new economic and quality of life opportunities.

Supporters say restaurants - particularly national brands - that are interested in Pineville but currently shying away would come to the city if alcohol sales are allowed.

That, in turn, would attract more development, including hotels, that would open up economic opportunities in the city.

Those opportunities, supporters say, include making the city more attractive from a quality-of-life standpoint to business prospects and allowing the city to compete for events such as youth sports tournaments and small conventions.

Fields has spoken often of growing tired of seeing Pineville citizens take their dollars to other cities because they want to be able to have a glass of beer or wine with their dinner.

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