Letter: With record revenues, does Pigeon Forge need liquor?

Feb. 26, 2013 @ 11:59 PM

Editor:

As I read the headline article in The Mountain Press last Friday, that we have as a city prospered mightily even through the recession, I ask you: Why do we need liquor by the drink?

Our gross receipts were up last year without liquor by the drink; our receipts were $905.8 million. That is almost a billion dollars in the time of recession. Gross receipts were $147 million for lodging and $145 million for amusements and business.

Really, all those millions and no liquor by the drink. Now let’s consider what liquor by the drink is going to cost us as taxpayers.

We will need bigger jails to accommodate all the drunk drivers and violators; more police, which means more patrols and more police vehicles; more hospital staff to take care of all the wreck victims. More help at the funeral homes to take care of the corpses caused by drinking and driving, not to mention those who will die because they developed other health problems as a result of drinking.

Who is going to get to pay the police and jailers and late night judges? Who will be paying for all the extra staff and equipment? You and I, the taxpayer. How many more families will be without food, housing, clothes because of greed on the part of a few? My conscience will be clear. I voted no to liquor by the drink.

I was at a grocery store the other day. There were three young band members standing outside selling candy bars to raise money for the band. I bought from them and thought how there will still be a need to sell the candy magazines and coupon books even if liquor by the drink passes.

The teachers and students still have to solicit funds and teachers still have to beg for supplies in Gatlinburg and Sevierville, and they have liquor by the drink. Don’t believe they have the numbers correct on the amount of funds the schools will get as a benefit of liquor by the drink.

Now they say that the revenue from liquor by the drink will be sent to Nashville, and Nashville will send 50 percent back to Pigeon Forge and the schools will get all of that. Will they, or will it be 2 percent of what gets sent back like the first story the pro-drink side told. You decide.

God bless the voter, whether you are Christian or just good moral people. Vote no to liquor by the drink.

Early voting started Feb. 22 at the election commission. Precinct voting day is March 14 at your assigned location.

Mary Stinnett

Pigeon Forge