Breckenridge Texan

Early voting begins today for City Commission, alcohol proposition

Early voting begins today for City Commission, alcohol proposition
April 24
08:27 2023

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge registered voters can start voting today as Early Voting opens for the City Commission and Local Option elections.

In the City Commission race, incumbent Gary Mercer and and  Raymond S. Ensey are running for Place 4. Vince Moore is running unopposed for Place 3.

The Local Option Election will allow the voters to decide whether or not to allow the sale of all alcoholic beverages, including mixed beverages and liquor, in Breckenridge. The law would allow restaurants and bars, with the proper licensing, to sell alcohol-based drinks without requiring customers to have a membership. Additionally, if approved by the voters, the law will allow liquor stores within the city limits.

The current law allows only beer and wine to be sold in stores and “mixed beverages,” those containing liquor, to be sold only in restaurants or bars that require a membership.

If approved by the voters, the proposition will allow for the establishment of liquor stores, as well as the sale of mixed beverages at restaurants and bars, in Breckenridge.

J.B. Sparks, the chairman of the Breckenridge Downtown Development Council, which was created by the Breckenridge Economic Development Corp. a couple of years ago, said that the council started the petition for the election and gathered the appropriate number of signatures last year.

The council proposed the alcohol election as a way to bring in more businesses to Breckenridge, specifically restaurants to the downtown area. “Our goal with the Breckenridge Downtown Development Council was to change downtown, from brick street to brick street. And we have done that,” Sparks said, adding that they wanted to attract more restaurants to the downtown area. “Well, we had an idea and goal to put a restaurant in with an outdoor patio, and we solicited potential people that own restaurants. And … there is someone very interested, but they said that 70 percent of their sales per year is based off of alcohol and mixed beverages. And they could not very well make a living in Breckenridge. They’ve been watching the restaurants come and go in this community, and they were terrified to make a investment in this community.”

Sparks said that the BDDC is interested not only in bringing in more restaurants to Breckenridge but also to increase the tax revenue for the City in order to help pay for things like street repairs.

Voters in Graham passed a similar proposition last year.

In 2018, Breckenridge voters approved a proposition to allow the sale of wine and beer with 17 percent alcohol in the City of Breckenridge. The previous limit had allowed only beer and other low-level alcohol drinks, such as wine coolers, to be sold. That proposition passed with 982 “For” votes and 266 “Against” votes.

Because the Local Option Election is only for the City of Breckenridge and does not apply to areas outside the city limits, only registered voters who live in Breckenridge will be allowed to vote on the issue.

Early Voting will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 24-28 and May 1-2 at the City Offices, 105 N. Rose. Ave.

Those who do not vote early may vote on Election Day, May 6, at the City of Breckenridge’s office at 105 N. Rose Ave. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.





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