The Coats town board voted Thursday night to put the issue of alcohol sales in local establishments on the November ballot, giving the voting public the ultimate decision on what has been a controversial issue in some communities.
The board held a public discussion before unanimously approving asking the Harnett County Board of Elections to hold a vote in November.
Citizens will now vote on whether or not to sell on premise and off premise malt beverages and the sale of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theaters and convention centers.
Beer and wine sales is already offered in convenience stores and grocery stores.
The issue will be on the ballot along with candidates for municipal office.
The vote came after no members of the public spoke against the measure at Thursday’s public hearing. Two owners of restaurants told the board they supported holding the referendum vote on the issues.
Coats remains as the only town in the county without legal alcohol sales in restaurants and motels. Citizens in each town in the county have individually approved the sale of alcohol. The issue has been contentious in the past, with religious organizations protesting on moral grounds.