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Delhi looking into changing strict alcohol laws

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DELHI, La. (KNOE 8 News) - People in Rayville can now drink alcohol on Sundays, thanks to an ordinance passed in January. Now their neighbors in Delhi are looking into changing their own alcohol laws.

Six days a week, you can find beer for sale in the town of Delhi, but never liquor. Now Town Alderman Larry Rancher wants beer and hard liquor available seven days a week. "It's 2013 .. The 21st century," he said.

Rancher says the town needs to get with the times because the strict alcohol laws are hurting the local economy. He says potential businesses and restaurants are passing them over for neighboring towns with more lenient laws and taking their jobs with them. On top of that, Rancher says the people of Delhi are going outside the town to get their drinks. "You can go a quarter of a mile on a bicycle and purchase it," said Rancher, and Delhi is losing out on that money.

"Its not like our money is staying here in town" said Joe May, who has lived in Delhi his whole life. He says its widely known it's Madison Parish benefiting from their alcohol bans. "If we're going to spend the money we should spend it locally and let those taxes support our causes," said May.

Rancher says if the proposal is successful, it could be a way to get their money back and be used as an alternative to raising sewage and tax rates. "We're just trying to get some type of revenue to help the citizens out," he said.

But not everyone agrees, Delhi native Jamie Hutto is against part of Rancher's plan, saying its not about the money, but morals. "I think the people of Delhi drink enough during the week and need to let Sunday have a day of rest."

The town's aldermen will ultimately decide what happens, when they vote on the ordinance on April 9th.  

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