'Liquor by the drink" to be decided by mail-in ballot in Jackson County

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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -- Beer and wine are the only adult beverage items available at restaurants in Jackson County, Florida but one group is looking to change that.

A group called Jackson Forward recently asked Jackson County commissioners to approve a mail-in ballot that would allow the public to decide whether restaurants should have the option to sell liquor by the drink.

The county commission unanimously approved the request.

"I think I speak for the Commission, I think that we oughta put it on the ballot and let the people decide whether they want it in Jackson County or not," District Two Commissioner Clint Pate said.

Pate said about three years ago, a petition was the only way to get the liquor by the drink option on the ballot.

"The law has changed now in the state of Florida, they can do it by petition or they can ask the commissioners to put it on the ballot," Pate said.

Jackson Forward members have said the goal is to bring in more business, but Pate said a "yes" vote does not necessarily mean every restaurant will be able to sell liquor by the drink.

"There's state requirements that I think require a 150-people seating arrangement, but it's regulated by the state," Pate said.

The mail-in ballot election will be held November 14th.

At Tuesday night's commission meeting, the county attorney will ask commissioners to adopt a resolution providing for the mail-in ballot election. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Jackson County Administration building in Marianna.

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