The Town of Archer Lodge made it official Monday night. The board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution asking for the Johnston County Board of Elections to place an alcohol sales referendum before voters on November 8th.
The issue had been under discussion by the town council and Mayor Michael Gordon since January. In February, the board voted to ask the Johnston County Board of Commissioners to place the referendum on the ballot this Fall. However, the resolution needed to be addressed to the Board of Elections and not to the County Board of Commissioners.
There remains some question as to whether the Town of Archer Lodge technically needed to call for a referendum because in 2007 the Wilders Township passed an alcohol sales vote that is currently in place. However, the Town of Archer Lodge was not incorporated until 2009. To be sure, town commissioners moved forward with the request for the November vote.
Pending approval by the Board of Elections, Archer Lodge residents will vote on four issues: to permit on-premise and off-premise sale of malt beverages, to permit the on-premise and off-premise sale of unfortified wine, to permit the operation of ABC Stores, and to permit the sale of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theatres and convention centers.
Mayor Gordon says while the young town currently doesn’t have a chain restaurant, by approving alcohol sales now it may encourage a business to locate within the town limits in the future.
Councilman Matthew Mulhollem said recently he believes turnout should be good for a referendum in November.