by: Eric Philips Updated:
TROUTMAN, N.C. - Troutman town officials said if they don't do something to generate revenue they'll have to raise property taxes and utility rates.
They say an ABC store may be a way to avoid that.
When Channel 9 asked around town, there were varied opinions on whether Troutman needs to add a liquor store to its list of businesses.
The mayor said he and the town board are deeply considering this controversial move and it's all about the bottom line.
"We're looking at ways to come up with revenue to do things that citizens want like snow removal without raises taxes any or very little," said Troutman Mayor Elbert Richardson.
People who live in Troutman and want to buy liquor generally go to the ABC store about 5 miles away in Statesville. Officials in Troutman are trying to calculate how much they could keep in the local economy if they opened a store there. While they don't have any hard numbers just yet, officials in Stateville say the store patronized by Troutman residents made about $200,000 in profits last year.
Some residents say they'd welcome an ABC store over raising taxes, while others say the store would do more harm than good.
"I don't see a problem with it, if we need the revenue we need the revenue," said Troutman resident Mary Starks.
"I don't think we need an ABC store," said Troutman resident Stacy Miller. "There’s already three or four in Mooresville and three or four in Statesville. If they can't drive that far, they don't need it."
If the town board approves the issue for referendum, ultimately Troutman residents will decide in November.
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