Stores in the City of Iowa Park have begun selling alcohol this week. On May 11th, Iowa Park residents voted to change the city from dry to wet.
Just last month, 3 businesses located within 300 feet of a school, church or hospital came forward to request permission from the city council to sell alcohol within the city. Scobee's Mini Mart, Lowe's Food Store and Dollar General originally did not meet the distance requirements to sell alcohol. However, city council unanimously approved their requests and as of Wednesday July 24, alcohol can be found in each store.
For Randy Scobee owner of Scobee's Mini Mart, getting alcohol into his store was a long process that took him over a month.
"It's been quite a process. We started the procedures to go get the signatures from the city secretary, county secretary, and we had to fill out some paperwork and send it to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC)" said Scobee.
Along with getting signatures, Scobee and other store owners applying to sell alcohol had to go through a background check, pay the fees for a liquor license as well as wait for the TABC to give them a license number.
Customers won't be able to buy hard liquor but beer and wines are available for purchase. Residents are relived that their trip for booze will now be a lot shorter.
"I think in some ways it's good because before, people have to drive down Old Iowa Park Road and that's just further and causes problems. But now it's closer" says Iowa Park resident Ashley Musgrave.
James Sims another Iowa Park resident also agrees. "I don't have to go so far anymore. And it will bring a lot more money into this city too" he said.
Scobee hopes the sale of alcohol will be beneficial and bring revenue into the city.
"It's gonna pull traffic from somewhere and it'll be more money spent in town. We will circulate the money" he said.
Scobee says the alcohol sales have been a little slow since Wednesday, but he expects it to pick up once the word gets out.
Iowa Park was the last dry city in Wichita County. The general consensus among the stores was that selling alcohol would also make their businesses more competitive.