Local Cities Push for Wine in Grocery Stores

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 8/15 6:41 pm
EAST RIDGE, TN (WDEF) - More tax dollars and more jobs; East Ridge City Manager, Andrew Hyatt, says that's a good combination.

Jane Teuscher, a resident, adds, "I think that's fantastic."

Teuscher is also on board.

She adds, "I think it's in the State of Tennessee's best interest that we keep the money here."

That's why Teuscher is signing a petition at Bi-Lo.

She wants wine sold in all grocery stores in Hamilton County.

Teuscher adds, "We need to have the convenience of buying it here rather than going to other places. It's like beer's sold here, why can't we buy wine."

Cities like Red Bank and Lakesite already have enough signatures to put the wine referendum on the November ballot.

However, other cities like East Ridge, are pounding the pavement now in order to get 520 signatures collected by next Thursday.

Andrew Hyatt, the East Ridge City Manager, says, "Actually, I just got off the phone with a citizen, before I came here to speak with you.  They said I need to pick up a ballot, so I can go door to door in my community."

East Ridge currently has about 350 to 400 signatures.

The number needed is based on how many people voted in the last gubernatorial election.

Brent Lambert, East Ridge Mayor, says, "It could have some impact if cities are able to get it on the ballot for a vote. Theoretically, could have grocery stores looking at locations and ruling out some locations because they won't be able to sell wine in this city, but they can go right next door and sell wine."

Mayor Brent Lambert says having wine in grocery stores could be a major selling point as businesses look to set up shop next to their future Bass Pro Shop.

Red, white, and Food is working with retail partners like Bi-Lo and Food Lion to facilitate petition drives across the state.

The election is November 4th.
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