Wewa Community Opposes a Nearby Liquor Business

By: Hermelinda Vargas
By: Hermelinda Vargas

Folks in Wewahitchka are lobbying to keep a liquor store and lounge from opening in their neighborhood, but so far they haven't had much luck.

Clarence Gray and Kenneth Myers say they can handle two liquor stores just down the road, but they can't put up with a new liquor store and lounge due to open just three doors away from a church.

The neighborhood's building store owner, Ralph Fisher, is opening the liquor business.

"I don't think it's really appropriate for them to build a bar up there when we have several churches right here and you've got several kids running up and down the street here. I just think it's disrespectful," says Clarence Gray.

Gray and Myers aren't the only ones upset.

"I believe it's going to be unsafe for the community and also I believe there will be a lot of repercussions from crime and trash in the neighborhood and it's just too close and unsafe for the children in the neighborhood," says Deacon Joe Jackson.

About 200 people have signed a petition asking Wewa city commissioners to stop the project, but city manager Don Minchew says it’s too late to change the city law that allows Fisher to open.

The law was changed in 1981, reducing the required distance between liquor businesses and churches and schools from 1,000 feet to just 250 feet. Because of the petition, the commission is considering an increase to 500 feet, but it won't help the people fighting against this bar.

We could not reach Fisher to comment on this story. Construction on the new business is scheduled to begin in two weeks.


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