Committee seeks to even alcohol sales by expanding into Precinct 3

Potter County Committee for Economic Growth has until July 11 to collect 2,500 signatures of Precinct 3 voters (blue) on a petition to support limited sales of alcohol in the precinct.

A group of citizens announced the formation of the "Potter County Committee for Economic Growth", a special purpose political action committee, to ask voters to support limited alcohol sales for the current boundaries of Potter County Justice of the Peace Precinct #3, which includes the western part of Amarillo and the areas north of the city.

The group has until July 11, to collect approximately 2,500 signatures of Justice Precinct 3 voters on a petition calling for the election in November.

The petition will allow a vote for the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only. This will only allow beer and wine sales in businesses such as grocery and convenience stores but will not allow additional package liquor sales or liquor stores, except those already approved by voters in previous elections. Potter County has had a history of elections since Prohibition ended in the 1930's. In 2006, voters in Potter County Justice Precinct 3 approved alcohol sales in restaurants, but some retailers like Walmart and the future Sam's Club are still not able to sell beer and wine.

The Economic Growth Committee said the economic development of northern and western parts of Amarillo are being hampered because beer/wine off-premise sales are not allowed and, if voters approve, it would help balance the alcohol sales rules in the area.

"Retail business is very competitive and it is hurts our area's economic potential when some businesses have the ability to sell certain products while other cannot," said Bryan Poff, Amarillo resident and former State Legislator. "We are asking voters in JP 3 to sign the petition so that voters can choose to level the business playing field by approving beer and wine off-premise sales in November. This would foster positive economic growth in areas of the County that may currently be hampered due to the patchwork of differing rules and guidelines. We ask the voters to sign the petition to allow limited alcohol sales in these areas."

The Group has hired Texas Petition Strategies (TPS) of Arlington to conduct the petition and election effort. TPS has conducted over 270 petition efforts in 160 different Texas communities, with over 83 percent of the efforts passing.

"We are proud of our efforts helping over 100 Texas communities increase their sales tax revenues and lessen the need to raise property taxes," John Hatch of TPS said.

People wishing to support the effort can sign the petition at Walmart Stores located at Store #5216 (Dry Store), 5730 W Amarillo Blvd, Walmart Store #822, 3700 Interstate 40 in Amarillo, and Sam's Club located at 2201 Ross-Osage St. Amarilloâ?? TXâ?? 79103.