Voters will now decide if they want alcohol to be sold in Oak Grove

OAK GROVE, La. - It didn't take long for the Oak Grove town council to put alcohol sales on the ballot Tuesday night during its council meeting. For some time, there has been back and forth on whether to sell liquor in town and now voters will decide.

A group called Hatch Consulting Group was hired by Wal-Mart to circulate a petition for alcohol sales. They gathered more than 300 signatures to support it. They argue the town is losing money to surrounding areas that sell alcohol.

"Here's the biggest issue, for every dollar a grocery store loses in beer and wine sales, they will lose three dollars in general sales and that's because we're one stop shoppers," John Hatch, Hatch Consulting Group President, said.

Mayor Adam Holland didn't say where he stands on the issue, but he did say a local study shows the town is losing about $600,000.

Supporters said it also saves them a few bucks by staying local. Others said being a dry parish reflects their Christian values. Outside of that, one woman said she's not for it because of potential trouble.

The group said local sales can drive their worries home.

"Studies show you actually shorten the drive, you shorten the amount of accidents and fatalities," Hatch said.

Holland said if this passes, he'll put restrictions on keeping the Fiske Theatre dry and limiting the sales on main street.

Come October, voters will also get to put limitations on how much alcohol content they want to be sold.