Wet/Dry Vote Coming in Geneva County

By: Ryan Rodig Email
By: Ryan Rodig Email

All of you have to do is drive in Geneva County and the signs next to the streets tell you an important vote is coming.

A wet/dry referendum will be decided on election night.

Last week Alabama Beverage Control met with elected officials in Geneva County, but still left a lot of unanswered questions.

"They said that every county is different," Geneva County Probate Judge and Commission Chairman Fred Hamic said Thursday. "By us being surrounded by wet counties in Florida and to the south that makes it different than if we were a wet county surrounded by dry counties."

But Judge Hamic says the county would receive $120,000 in beer tax if the vote turns out to be "yes."

It has been 18 years since the last wet/dry referendum was held in Geneva County. In 1990 the vote was no by 8%.

Thursday a public information forum was to be held, but there was a minor problem. Almost nobody showed up.

Fewer than 10 people came to Geneva County Courthouse for the meeting, all supporters of a no vote.

Dicky McAllister is Director of Missions for Geneva Baptist Association, and attended Thursday to show his moral and religious opposition to becoming a wet county.

"But also we know the sale of alcohol will not be an economic benefit to the county, it would be a deterrent. We also do not want to contend with beer joints and liquor lounges. We don't want to lose local control like what happens when a county votes wet," McAllister said.

About $275,000 in current funding could be lost from the Tennessee Valley Authority if the county decides to sell alcohol. But Judge Hamic says it looks like a distinct possibility that funding could be cut soon regardless.

Judge Hamic is not taking a public stance on the wet/dry issue and says right now it is a hard race to call.

"It is pretty well split right now. I would call it a toss up."

Speculation is that trick-or-treating in Geneva County and a rivalry high school football game could have had an impact on the very low attendance for the public information meeting.

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  • by Michael Location: Hartford on Nov 4, 2008 at 07:30 PM
    I think that going Wet would allow for the county to grow in so many ways. Too many Geneva citizens dollars are being spent in other counties and in Florida. We have no quality resturants in this county and never will as long as we stay dry. I understand the tradition and respect other peoples views and feelings, but this county will never prosper living in the past. I say let's try to keep our money in county to help our schools and to create some jobs in Geneva. It's obvious that what we have done in the past isn't working in todays world. It's time to face the facts, either this county is always going to be poor and non profitable, or changes are going to have to come. You can't have it both ways people.
  • by Mike Hunt Location: Geneva on Oct 31, 2008 at 02:21 PM
    Vote yes!! also vote yes for the meth and crack sales also. If we add up all the revenues off of those items then we might have better roads and better schools. Wasn't the richest members of Geneva county, also the owners of liquor stores on the Flordia side. Most christians are not scared of the sale of alcohol in their area, the are scare of the temptation that they will experience.
  • by Malcolm Location: Hartford, Al on Oct 31, 2008 at 01:36 PM
    Fred Hamic sounds like all the other politicians. It's all about the money and not about the morals of the county or the country. Fred Hamic, I hope when your election time comes you will step down and not run. We the people of Geneva County DO NOT need a Judge that perceives hisself as a yea voter for a wet county. Here's a question for the Judge, What is the sense in taking $120k in liquor tax over $270k if TVA funds that is given to the county? People around here better start looking at their morals.
  • by Steve Location: Geneva on Oct 31, 2008 at 06:46 AM
    I feel like the county would benifit for this. All the revenues seem to go to Flordia or another Alabama county anyway. Why not stay in Geneva where it might do some good. As far as the extra money that the TVA gives us, where is it being spent? I don't see it around here. Besides we might get some nice places to eat also, I know we need something better that what we have. I don't feel that you will have more drunks if the county is wet. If you are going to drink, you will get it anyway. Keep the revenues in Geneva county.
  • by Becky Location: Dothan on Oct 31, 2008 at 06:32 AM
  • by christy Location: coffee springs on Oct 31, 2008 at 05:46 AM
    yes we have the poorest school system in the entire state something must help
  • by Edna Brooks Location: Enterprise on Oct 31, 2008 at 04:51 AM
    I don't think Geneva County is ready for a wet county, because I have 2 small grandchildrens there, I was born and live there all my life in Hartford, Al untill about seven years ago. They need to get places for peoples to work and have good jobs. The way things is going now we don't need that now. Jesus is trying to let us know that he is on his way back soon so this is what we need to get our mines on jesus returns. Gods Bless is my Prayers
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