One dry Texas city is looking to become a little less so. Driven by economic reasons, the city of Keene recently announced a committee seeking to allow alcohol sales of beer and wine for off-premise consumption.

In 2003, cities gained greater control over alcohol sales within their limits, and many have acted to loosen restrictions. A number of Keene’s neighbors seized this opportunity in recent years, leaving the city “‘the dry doughnut hole’” surrounded by so-called “wet” communities. The committee’s ultimate goal is to attract a grocery store to Keene, and they believe the margins offered by beer and wine sales are a key factor in a successful pitch.

It’s clear that Keene residents are driving to neighboring cities to purchase alcohol, which is resulting in a loss of local revenue. According to one economist’s 2008 report, a city the size of Keene “could realize $3.2 million in annual sales, create more than 30 new jobs and more than $75,000 a year in additional local sales tax revenue” if they approve the new alcohol measure. The city’s committee is currently seeking signatures for a petition to force an election on the issue in May. We’ll be watching to see if this town follows in the footsteps of its neighboring North Texas communities!

Are you interested in selling beer and wine for off-premise consumption (in Keene or anywhere else in Texas)? Well, you most likely don’t need a committee for that – contact us, and we’ll be happy sort out what you do need today!

SOURCE: Royce City Herald Banner.