Saline County votes 'yes' for wet

One of the biggest issues came to a head Tuesday night as Saline County voted in favor of a wet county with 54 percent of the votes.

A wet county will allow liquor stores and retail establishments to sell beer, wine and liquor in the county.

Before the issue passed on Tuesday, restaurants and hotels in Saline County wishing to sell alcohol were required to do so as a “private club,” and private clubs must purchase alcohol from a retailer (private clubs cannot purchase alcohol from wholesalers) in a neighboring county or somewhere else.

Now, these clubs will be able to purchase alcohol from retailers in their respective counties, a convenience issue for them and an economic issue for the county.

An economic impact study conducted by the University of Arkansas’ Center for Business and Economic Research released estimates that, based on potential sales figures from 2013, a wet Saline County $34.2 million in sales with related sales tax revenues.

More on this story can be found in today's issue of The Saline Courier.