Alcohol to bring more Union Co. development

- An alcohol referendum will now allow all Union County stores to sell beer and wine for the first time.

Voters approved this referendum during the N.C. primary election -- with more than 60 percent in favor.

The contest was about more than alcohol, however -- it's all about economic development.

"It's part of the economic piece of a grocery store," County Commissioner Richard Helms said. "The profitability in those products is higher, we all know that."

Helms said grocery stores and other commercial developers have been trying to comes to Union County for years, but the area not allowing alcohol sales has kept them from making commitments. He said there are plenty of parts in the county where commercial development is needed.

"You have the west which is heavily developed but you go down east, eastern and the northern part of the county, there's very little economic development," Helms added.

The results of the referendum will go into effect immediately.

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