Elkin residents may lose their ABC store and its residents may have to hike into Jonesville to spirit up.
Elkin commissioners on Monday night paved the way for a study to be conducted by an independent company who would determine a viable location for a new ABC store to serve Elkin and Jonesville residents. If the study shows Jonesville is a better location, Elkin’s ABC store will dry up.
The ABC matter was discussed at a meeting of the Elkin Board of Commissioners, but the topic was not on the public agenda. It is unknown why the topic was not listed on the public agenda.
The topic was raised by Commissioner Bob Norton at the very end of a Town Hall meeting and slipped in prior to commissioners heading into closed session on an economic development matter.
According to Norton, the study was recommended at a joint meeting between Elkin and Jonesville and other state ABC officials.
“Lloyd (Payne) and I met with Scott (Buffkin) and Wayne Moore last week and with a representative from the ABC board to discuss the future of these two towns (Elkin and Jonesville) on operating an ABC store. One of our initial initiates was to reach out and work with Jonesville to work out a reasonable solution. We want to have one store serving both communities,” said Norton.
According to Norton, the ABC board would like to see one store between two towns.
“The problem is politics and egos. One side of the river politics over the other gets testy… One of the steps they (ABC) suggested is to hire an outside independent marketing analysis who will provide a recommendation on where to place a new ABC store. The company would have no attachment to either side,” said Norton.
The study is estimated to cost up to $10,000. Both Elkin and Jonesville would split the cost.
“Tonight what we need to decide is if we want to participate in the study. If Jonesville opens, they’ll put our ABC store down by 10 percent. We’ll be in the red. On the other hand, if they open, they’ll have a very heavy debt load, cost of real estate, inventory. We bring a solution to the table. We can carry our inventory to any new location,” said Norton.
Commissioners agreed to spend $5,000 for the study and to abide by the recommendation of the firm selected to conduct the study.
“Not only is this a $5,000 investment, but it can heal some of the tension over the bridge. I say let’s put it (ABC store) over there and save the 10 grand,” said Commissioner Skip Whitman.
Commissioners were unanimous in a vote to support the study.
Jonesville voters approved ABC and mixed beverages in a November 2013 referendum.
Yadkin County residents are voting on an ABC resolution in November.
Anthony Gonzalez may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @newsgonz.