OXFORD — The Board of Aldermen has voted to permit the sale of cold beer in stores in Oxford.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported the vote yesterday also extends store sales of beer and light wine to Sundays.
Sunday sale hours are restricted to 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., mirroring those given to restaurants for the few Sundays each year they are allowed to serve beer, wine or liquor by the drink.
Alderman Ulysses Howell, who has long opposed Sunday alcohol sales in any form, was the only board member to vote against the proposal.
The change affects only store sales. Beer sales remain illegal in Lafayette County outside Oxford, although liquor and wine sales are permitted countywide.
Discussion of the proposal was minimal before the vote. At earlier public hearings, some residents and business owners touted economic advantages for Oxford, the elimination of “beer runs” to neighboring counties and promotion of basic personal liberty.
Alderman Robyn Tannehill, a former Oxford tourism director, was a proponent of both cold beer and Sunday sales.
“I think our citizens will be excited to be able to purchase cold beer 30 days from now and that it’ll be good for our convenience stores, our visitors and our citizens,” she said.
Mayor George “Pat” Patterson has often opposed loosening alcohol restrictions but said he was not greatly troubled by yesterday’s vote.
“The vote for Sunday sales gave me some pause, but I don’t think it will drastically affect the character of the community.”
— Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal