Residents of Odon, as well as other area patrons of the Odon Dollar General made their collective voices heard Tuesday morning at a meeting of the Daviess County Alcohol Beverage Commission.
The the three-member board made up of Indiana excise officer Brian Stewart, Bill Olson and Bob Miller, voted unanimously to deny the permit for Dollar General to hold a beer-wine grocery license, after roughly 20 people presented testimony and petitions to ask that the permit be denied.
Jeff McKean, an attorney representing Dollar General, outlined the store’s hope to use roughly 8 linear feet of floor space to display and sell warm beer and wine. He explained that of the 379 stores in Indiana roughly a third hold beer-wine permits, and they have had no violations or incidents since Dollar General has shifted to a more grocery-focused operation that often includes alcohol sales.
Dollar General had hoped to get the retail alcohol grocery license not currently being utilized in the Odon area. Chuckles gas/convenience store currently holds the other available license.
“We are not hoping to become a large-scale liquor store, but are responding to the wants and conveniences of our customer,” McKean added.
Several area residents spoke during the hour-long hearing, including Russell Dart, an Odon resident and longtime North Daviess teacher, who presented a petition from homeowners and store owners from within 1,000 feet of the store.
Dart said, “There are plenty of other places to buy liquor (in Odon).”
Also speaking out against the permit was Connie Lanham, who felt that the number of children in and around the store, especially on Wednesday nights, did not need to be presented with alcohol sales. Debbie Lawyer also presented a petition, with 601 signatures from around the entire North Daviess area of people who hoped Dollar General would reconsider its decision to sell alcohol at the Odon store.
In other business, the renewal of the license for the Fraternal Order of Eagles was approved.
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