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Liquor referendum passes in Holmes County

Holmes County voters made their voices heard when the local option referendum was passed on April 28.

The referendum asked voters to decide whether to change the current ordinance, which allows sales of alcohol over 6.243 percent alcohol by volume by the package only.

Passage of the measure will allow restaurants that derive more than 51 percent of revenue from food sales and have available seating for 150 or more in at least 2,500 square ft. to obtain a license to sell beer, wine, and liquor for consumption on premise. Other factors, such as zoning requirements and a 500-ft. setback from schools, will also apply.

Results show 16.42 percent of the county’s 11,249 registered voters, totaling 1,847 people, turned out to cast their votes on the local option referendum to allow the consumption of alcohol on premises.

Preliminary results show 63.24 percent, or 1,168, voted yes, and 36.76, or 679, voted no on the measure.

Kent Lampp, a missionary with Holmes Baptist Association, says all that matters is that people voted. “The people of Holmes County have spoken,” said Lampp. “They have said that business is more important than anything else. However, no matter what was decided, we will find a way to work together as best as we can.”

Holmes County Development Commission Executive Director Joe Rone says he is happy to see voters make their voices heard. “We’re glad to see Holmes County turn out for this vote and support this strategy for growth in our community,” said Rone.

Although happy with the results, Rone says this is not the only avenue HCDC is working on for growth in the county.
“Rest assured this is not our only strategy for growth,” said Rone. “We will continue our competitive pursuits of new businesses in retail, fast food, and the industrial sector. We will also strengthen our focus on the potential for development of workforce housing. Backed by our community’s strong support, Holmes County is on the path to responsible, sustainable growth.


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