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Local businessman pushes for liquor referendum
A petition is circulating locally calling for a public referendum on the subject of liquor-by-the-drink sales inside the Smithville city limits.Local businessman Randy Paris is leading the push for a referendum in the June 19 Smithville Municipal Election to decide whether local eateries should be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages.The petition, which requires the signatures of 90 voters to get the matter on the ballot, calls for the authorization of "the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in the City of Smithville.”Paris told the Review that he believes a great deal of money from DeKalb County’s tourist-based economy goes to nearby towns who offer libations at their local restaraunts. He also believes that property values would increase locally as a result of the measure.“It broadens what can be done with some of these commercial properties we have sitting vacant,” Paris told the Review. “$34.7 million was generated by tourism in DeKalb County in 2010, that’s a chunk of money going through our cash registers every year, but it would be significantly more if we were offering people from out of town the amenities they are used to at home.“Allowing our restaurants to serve wine or beer with your meal would be an incentive for new businesses to open in Smithville,” Paris continued. “Our economy is based on tourism.