Cherokee Board of Commissioners debate liquor privatization resolution

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

MURPHY, N.C. -Cherokee County Commissioner C.B. McKinnon, District 2 (Republican), stated, “We shouldn’t be in the pot business or the liquor business” after the ‘Resolution of the Cherokee Board of Commissioners Opposing the Privatization of Retail Sale and Wholesale Distribution of Liquor’ was introduced at Monday’s meeting. Emotions were high as the Commissioners debated the issue.

The motion to oppose the resolution was passed due to a ‘Lack of Motion’ by the Board. They would not support the Resolution.

House Bill 971 (Modern Licensure Model for Alcohol Control) was introduced in legislature by Representatives Chuck McGrady (R), Jason Saine (R), Jon Hardister (R), and Pricey Harrison (D) on April 26, 2019. The bill, if passed, “would privatize the retail sale and wholesale distribution of liquor” allowing the minimum of 1500 permits statewide. Currently, the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) system operates 423 locations throughout the state. Two ABC locations are in Cherokee County: Murphy and Andrews.

The N.C. Department of Public Safety requires the certification of members recommended by the Board to the Juvenile Crime Prevention Councils. For fiscal year 2019-2020, the following persons, who had been recommended by the Board, were certified to serve on the council: Associate School Superintendent Kim Gibson, CCSO Lieutenant Justin Jacobs, District Attorney Office Legal Assistant Nan Copeland, AMH/DD/SA Clinician Karen Underwood, DSS Attorney Andria Duncan, Assistant County Manager Maria Hass, and ADA Kimberly Hayes.

The N.C. Department of Public Safety requires the certification of members recommended by the Board to the Juvenile Crime Prevention Councils. For fiscal year 2019-2020, the following persons, who had been recommended by the Board, were certified to serve on the council: Associate School Superintendent Kim Gibson, CCSO Lieutenant Justin Jacobs, District Attorney Office Legal Assistant Nan Copeland, AMH/DD/SA Clinician Karen Underwood, DSS Attorney Andria Duncan, Assistant County Manager Maria Hass, and ADA Kimberly Hayes.

EMS Station 1 has been in the center of Board discussion for months as additional room is needed for the expanding service. Recently, North Carolina Department of Transportation has offered a piece of property to house a possible new station. However, the current station is on five acres of level property.

Dr. Dan Eichenbaum, District 4 (Republican), said he would be more comfortable in having an engineer size up both pieces of properties before a decision could be made for which would be more feasible and less costly to pursue.

The Board agreed to have County Manager Randy Wiggins to consult with an engineer on the matter and report back with the needed information.

Nantahala Regional Library Board of Trustees will have a new member. The Board unanimously appointed Wendy Paige to fill the position.

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