Group hopes to keep Craighead Co. dry

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- While one group in Craighead County is pushing to turn the county wet, one group is trying to keep it dry.

Earlier this month a committee in Craighead County said they want voters to decide whether retail alcohol sales should be legal in the county. Around the same time, a group formed to keep that from happening.

According to their handouts, Local Citizens for Safety and Prosperity are asking residents to "do nothing."

"Our main focus is keeping our community and Craighead County safe for our residents and their children," said Chairman Brian Richardson. "We also want to make sure our local economy continues its unprecedented growth right here in Craighead County."

And he said legalizing the sale of alcohol could halt that growth.

Private bars in Craighead County can sell alcohol but in order for residents to buy alcohol they have to leave the county.

"I have a 2 year old, I feel safe in Craighead County, and I feel safe for her," Richardson said. "Why are we willing to possible jeopardize that with something that will have unknown implications."

Richardson said making Craighead County wet could cause crime to skyrocket as well as healthcare costs. Being a grassroots organization, he said they depend on the support from residents and volunteers.

"We're receiving encouragement and funding and pledging support right here in Craighead County," Richardson told Region 8 News in a phone interview. "We are happy the way Craighead County is and we want to continue to keep it safe."

"Our Community, Our Dollars" is the other group pushing to legalize alcohol sales in Craighead County. Over 19,000 signatures are needed by July 7 for the measure to make it on the November ballot. The last time residents voted on the issue was back in the 1970s.

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