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Alcohol sales to be on May ballot

For the first time in Iowa Park’s history, voters will have the opportunity to choose whether or not alcohol will be sold in Justice of the Peace Precinct 3.

Tim Sheppard, a member of the group “Citizens to Keep Tax Dollars in Iowa Park,” announced Tuesday that the signatures required for a petition recently circulated have been verified by the County Clerk’s office.

The group was required to have 35 percent of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election, which totaled 2.361.

“We needed 827 signatures of registered voters in Precinct 3,” said Sheppard. “We turned in 960 and of those, 839 were eligible. This gives us the required number of signatures for the propositions to be placed on the May 2013 ballot.”

An employee at the Wichita County Clerk’s office said the reason some of the signatures may have not been valid includes not being registered voters, not registered or currently living in Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, or currently living in but not registered in that precinct.

The required 827 signatures is 35 percent of the number of people totaled (2,361) who voted in the last gubernatorial election, living in JP Precinct 3.

The voters will be able to decide on two propositions. They are: The Legal Sale of All Alcoholic Beverages; and/or The Legal Sale of All Alcohol Beverages Including Mixed Drinks.

The former geographic area of JP Precinct 3 included an area north of Iowa Park to Easter Road, west to Burnett Ranch Road, south to the Wichita River and north to F.M. 369. However, during the last redistricting in the fall of 2011, some areas east of F.M. 369 were including in Precinct 3.

“This gives the people the opportunity to make the choice, not some group or the government,” said Sheppard. “That is what we wanted, the people to have a voice as to what they want.”

At least two other attempts have been made to gather the necessary signatures on petitions, but have failed.

Alcohol was sold once available in Iowa Park, and there were at least three saloons, until the prohibition era which started in 1918. The city has remained dry since.


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