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Belville not happy with push for Leland liquor sales

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — There’s a battle over booze brewing between two Brunswick County towns.

A bill in a General Assembly committee, if passed, would let Leland residents decide if they want liquor stores in town. Their neighbors in Belville are not happy about it.

Alcohol sales are basically how Belville got started,” Mayor Mike Allen says. It’s one of the main reasons the town was incorporated back in 1977.

“We have two stores here in the town, and they represent the town well and the county provides the rest,” Allen said.

The two liquor stores do more than just represent the town. They provide around 10 percent of its annual revenue. That’s why Allen and other town leaders fought back against a bill Leland pushed for in the General Assembly to let residents vote to have an ABC board of their own.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” Allen said.

But fairness has a different definition for some residents in Leland

“I’m a Leland resident, and Leland should have the same opportunity to open up an ABC store as Belville,” Stan Silwinski said.

“We would lose revenue, and the county would lose revenue if Leland gets their ABC bill passed through the legislature,” Allen said.

But Belville won’t have to worry for now at least. One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-18th District) says the legislation is on hold, the StarNews reports.

Leland’s mayor and town manager did not return calls today for comment.

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