|By Bob Weaver|
Calhoun voters will choose wet-dry on Tuesday, August 10.
House bill 4524 that was originally presented made all counties and cities in WV wet. The bill that was passed by the house and senate and signed by the governor makes all counties wet, but allows counties and cities that were dry prior to January 1 2020 to remain dry by a vote of the county commission or governing bodies of cities.
Many citizens, reading the initial legislative headline at the time, assumed Calhoun, the last dry county in WV, was made wet.
Calhoun voters will decide wet-dry liquor fate on August 10, while
Details of recent WV legislation appeared confusing to some citizens.
The citizens in counties or cities whose governing bodies vote to remain dry could require a wet-dry election if 5% of the registered voters signed a petition asking for an election, which happened in Calhoun.
The Calhoun County Commission voted to remain dry because the issue had been voted on several times and was always voted down for 100 years, assuming that it has been the will of the people.
While the "will of the people" election on August 10 is a costly matter, Calhoun Commissioner Kevin Helmick said it appears to be a correct option, particularly since ParMar Convenience Store obtained the necessary signatures.
If the county goes wet, the county will likely see less that $1,000 taxes for its sale.
While some citizens want the county to remain dry, supporters say the easy availability of liquor has been a fact for years.
7-22-2021 - Calhoun voters will decide August 10 whether Calhoun will become wet or dry related to the sale of liquor. There will be early voting at the court house.
Calhoun, being the last dry county in West Virginia, has chosen to remain dry in elections held during the past 25 years.
If Calhoun becomes wet, the county will likely receive less than $1000 annually from liquor sales.
SPECIAL CALHOUN ELECTION SET OVER WET-DRY ALCOHOL SALES - Calhoun Last Dry County In WV
6-18-21 - The Calhoun Commission voted during a special meeting Wednesday to hold a special election for voters to decide to make the county "wet" or "dry" for the sale of alcohol.
Calhoun is the only dry county among the 55.
Commissioner Kevin Helmick said Par Mar, formerly Speedy Mart, at Arnoldsburg gathered the required 5% signatures of registered voters to get a special election.
Par Mar also got to select the date of the election, choosing August 10th.
"The County Commission had no choice but to run the levy because of state codes. The levy will cost the taxpayers somewhere between $20,000 to $25,000," said Helmick.
"We thought it important to let the voters decide," he said.
The state legislature passed a law that stated all county and municipalities would become wet if the County Commission did not act before July 1, 2020, it would become law.
Since voters had twice turned down the alcohol levy down, commissioners voted to honor the voters wishes.
During the 2020 election year, the County Commission wanted to run the item with the regular election, but state code stated it had to be a special election, not closer than 90 days before or after the primary or general election.
Attending were Commissioner Kevin Helmick, Commissioner Matt Walker calling in via zoom, and Commissioner Micheal Hicks being absent, with Clerk Jean Simers attending.