Ruston city council approves special election to consider alcohol sales

Currently, they’re only allowed to sell beer and certain drinks containing under 6% alcohol.
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:11 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 6, 2022 at 11:00 AM CST
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RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - UPDATE: On Dec. 5, 2022, the Ruston City Council voted to hold a special election in the City of Ruston regarding the sale of alcohol in stores.

Haley Perot, the assistant to the Ruston mayor/special projects, says the election will be held on March 25, 2023.

Read the previous story below.

A petition is circulating in Ruston to allow grocery stores to sell more types of alcoholic drinks.

“This is being done by Brookshire’s, Super One, and Walmart,” Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker explained. “The City of Ruston was not involved in getting them here.”

Currently, grocery stores are only allowed to sell beer and certain drinks containing less than 6% alcohol.

“This is something that allows the people of Ruston to make the decision about what they want as far as alcohol,” Mayor Walker told KNOE.

Walker says currently, people are taking their business and tax dollars to cities like Grambling and Monroe. He adds two of the biggest grocery stores in Ruston are in a Tax Incremental District.

“That means we get 40% back of what goes to the state,” said Walker. “That would be a huge increase. All that money has to be spent within the Tax Incremental District for infrastructure and things like that.”

Walker adds residents have expressed a desire for more grocery stores in the city. Walker says that won’t happen until the proposition passes.

“We have had three grocery stores over the last eight years,” explained Walker. “Every one of them, their first question is can we sell alcohol? No. Then we are not coming to Ruston or Lincoln Parish.”

Finally, the city is working on updating ordinances and zoning laws to ensure the number of places selling alcohol doesn’t get out of control.

“That’s something that planning and zoning and our city attorney are looking at very closely now so we can have a better handle on it before we get to that point,” added Mayor Walker.

The petition has sixty days to get the necessary signatures (25% of voters registered to vote within city limits) to force an election, which will be set by the Ruston City Council.

Mayor Walker says they are targeting sometime in March.