NIOTA, Tenn. (WATE) — As Tuesday marks Election Day, the mayor of Niota, Lois Preece, hopes residents will vote yes for liquor by the drink. Something she and other local elected officials believe will help with the growth of the city.
“The purpose for having liquor by the drink on our ballot is to encourage sit-down restaurants to come to Niota,” Preece said. “Most restaurants that have sit down have beer or wine and that seems to be the overall majority of restaurants, so we would like to pass this,” she said.
The push for restaurants comes as Niota is expecting 168 new homes in the area and a new industrial plant.
“It will probably employ a couple thousand people when it’s all finished, so a lot of those people will be passing Niota on their way home, and with the new housing development, this will give people a place to go for a sit-down meal,” Preece said.
Currently, the city has close to 800 residents, which has slowly grown in the last few years. With that growth expected to continue, the mayor wants the city to be ahead of the growth to make sure those that come, stay.
“I think it will be one more reason for people to choose Niota’s housing development rather than going to Athens or someplace else around us if they’re going to be moving in,” Preece said. “We would like to have them right here and sometimes just a few more things may be the encouragement that they need to settle here.”
The mayor mentioned the liquor referendum will provide a revenue stream for the city. It will also increase the tax base for the legal sale of alcoholic beverages, but it is unclear by how much at this time.