With a copy of the certification of the Nov. 3 General Election by the Sevier County Clerk’s office possibly being sent to the Arkansas Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) this week, the process for the sale of alcohol in Sevier County will begin.
According to ABC spokesman Scott Hardin, once the certification is received, an ad will be placed in The De Queen Bee that will call for applications. While there is no limit to the number of retail outlets and restaurants that can sell beer and wine in Sevier County, liquor sales will be limited to two stores in the entire county.
Hardin said that state law dicates only one permit for every 7,500 county residents. He said that he expects the state to begin accepting applications in early January and that the two liquor licenses awarded will be determined through a blind draw.
State law also limits liquor stores from being within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare or church, though restaurants and convenience stores selling beer and/or wine are exempt from the rule.
Licenses will be determined by the ABC director and denials can be appealed to the entire ABC board.
According to the ABC website, the cost to apply for a retail beer license is $350, one half of which will be refunded should the application be refused. An on-site beer and wine application is $350 as well, again with one half refunded if the requet is not granted. An on premises wine license is $500 with half being refunded upon denial.
A permit to sell mixed drinks at a restaurant with seating capacity of 50 though 99 is $750 and for greater seating capacity, $1,500. The cost to apply for a permit to open a liquor store is $2,000.