State Alcohol Commission turns down Dollar General application PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 09:03

The application from Dolgencorp L.L.C., parent company of Dollar General Stores, to obtain a liquor license fizzled before the Indiana State Alcohol and Tobacco Commission on Tuesday morning, September 5.

All members of the four-person state commission in Indianapolis voted to deny the application. Had it been approved, staff of the new Dollar General Store on the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 31 South and Leota Road would have been able to sell warm beer and wine to customers ages 21 and older.

The application was kicked up to the State Commission for a final decision when two members of the local Alcohol Board voted in favor of the application and two voted against it, resulting in a 2-2 tie. It was the first time in the history of the local board that such an application wasn’t resoundly defeated.

Opponents at that August 23 meeting crowded the local meeting room. All who approached the board spoke against the application. Lori Croasdell, executive director of CEASe (Coalition to Eliminate the Abuse of Substances) presented a petition opposing the application.  CEASe is a non-profit organization which has as its goal the reduction of the incidence and prevalence of substance abuse and addictions among youth and adults in Scott County. Croasdell said there were 300 names on the petition.

Apparently, evidence such as that and possibly the negative vote cast by District 4 Officer Lonnie Gibson at the local hearing had some weight with the state commission members. Reportedly, people with Scott County ties also called and left voice messages or wrote to or e-mailed the state commission, asking that the application be turned down.

“I wrote them a letter,” related Scott County Commissioner Kelley Robbins. “I just felt I could better express myself and my opposition to the application with pen and paper.”

Word about the “no” vote spread quickly around the county on Tuesday. When asked, most people said they were satisfied with the state commission’s actions. “This idea that you have to have alcohol for sale at whatever store you walk into is ridiculous,” stated one woman.

Had the license been allowed, those against allowing businesses other than local package stores to sell were fearful that more applications requesting such licenses would appear before the local board. Retailers of all sizes, including convenience stores at gas stations, have indicated interest in handling alcohol in the past.

Since Dolgencorp L.L.C. did fail, Scott County remains unique among Indiana counties. Here, alcoholic beverages can only be obtained by visiting locally-owned package stores. Alcohol by the drink is sold at two restaurants, one bar, the local golf course, at veterans’ organizations, such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, and at the Moose Family Center.