ROGERS, Ark. — Sunday alcohol sales in two Arkansas cities is one step closer to going on the November ballot.
Thousands of signatures were presented to the Rogers City Clerk Wednesday, June 8, in hopes for voters in the city to be able to decide on whether residents will be able to purchase alcohol on Sundays.
The committee Keep Our Tax Dollars Local, which organized the petitions, wants people to be able to purchase alcohol on Sundays in Rogers and Bentonville.
“Our citizens can go right next door and buy a 6 pack of beer, or a bottle of wine and it just makes sense to keep it here. We don’t expect that to change behavior at all, just gives our residents more opportunities for purchasing and keeps our dollars here local,” said Chairman Clay Kendall.
The committee gathered nearly 3,000 signatures from Rogers voters and nearly 2,300 from Bentonville voters. To get this measure on the ballot in Rogers 2,423 valid signatures are needed. In Bentonville 1,960 valid signatures are needed to certify the measure for the ballot.
“We’ve taken the approach that it’s really based on economics and benefiting the community. I think it might be different if you had to drive an hour or two away to purchase alcohol on a Sunday but when you can go 10 minutes down the road and get it, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to not allow it here,” he said.
The Rogers Clerk’s office will now verify the signatures with the list of registered voters before it goes to the city council and then the county for final approval.
Rogers city clerk, Jessica Rush and her office will now validate those signatures, then pass along an ordinance to the city council. If the council approves the measure, then the county clerk will receive the measure and it will have to also receive approval from the quorum court before being put on the November ballot. Rush says it’s not often her office has to validate voter signatures.
“The last time I believe something happened like this, it was actually for liquor sales in general for the city, which was about 10 years ago, so it’s exciting to be part of this opportunity to better give residents of Rogers opportunities,” she said.
The deadline to collect signatures in order to get measures on the November ballot is the end of August, so if the committee ends up needing more signatures to meet the required number, they still have time.
The “Keep your dollars local” committee will be submitting the rest of the signatures from Bentonville voters to the Bentonville city clerk’s office next Tuesday, June 14.
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