Local & Regional News
5:10 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Election Day To Decide Alcohol Sales In NLR's Park Hill

Residents of a North Little Rock neighborhood go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to allow the sale of alcohol.

The Park Hill neighborhood has been dry since 1966, but business leaders believe allowing the sale of alcohol could revive the area and bring restaurants to the stretch of John F. Kennedy Boulevard, between I-40 and McCain Boulevard.

220 people took part in early voting last week, election officials report.

Terry Hartwick, president of the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, is optimistic voters will approve going from dry to wet, noting many counties around Arkansas have also changed their alcohol laws in recent years.

“It’s helped most all areas,” Hartwick said. “They’ve shown an increase in tax revenue, they show more people shopping the areas. I’ve checked with them in the past and every one of them has shown in increase in activities and of course sales in their own stores.”

The city had to determine the original boundaries for six former districts that voted themselves dry in the election nearly five decades ago, with each now voting independently of each other on whether to allow the sale of alcohol in each area.

“There has been confusion because we’re having to deal with lines that were established in 1966, but here at the chamber we’ve got them outlined. They can tell us their address if they’re a little confused and we can tell them exactly where to go vote.”

Hartwick notes there has been no organized opposition to the proposal, though in the last few days, fliers have been distributed at homes in the area objecting to allowing alcohol.

No group names or contact information has been included on the fliers. Churches that led the original effort to ban alcohol also have not been willing to comment on the current proposal.