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MCKINNEY, Texas -- Allowing the sale of beer and wine could bring millions of dollars in new construction and business to McKinney, Texas, according to a citizens group collecting signatures in support of legalizing alcohol sales.
The group, McKinney Citizens for Economic Growth, claims McKinney taxpayers are spending $12 million a year buying beer and wine in neighboring cities, according to a report by WFAA-TV.
"You can buy alcohol to the west of us, to the south of us and to the north of us," said group member Don Day.
Group leaders spent the weekend making a final push for signatures on petitions, and believe they now have the number needed to hold a May election to decide the legalization of the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption at convenience stores and grocery stores.
Pro-alcohol volunteers spent the weekend at a McKinney grocery store asking people to sign the petitions. Their numbers are approaching 6,000 -- nearly 1,000 more than needed. The group claims three retailers -- World Market, Costco and Sam's Club -- want to build stores in McKinney if they can sell beer and wine. If they can't, they'll most likely look elsewhere, the report by WFAA-TV stated.
"World Market has already told us that," Day said. "They've purchased a site, but they won't build their store until this actually passes. Then, they will build it."
Other businesses are also promising to come to McKinney. "We've got several other large corporations that told us they will move here," Day said. "They asked us not to name their names, but we've got $50 million to $100 million of construction that will start if we can pass beer and wine."
A new Texas law lowered the number of signatures needed to call an alcohol election, prompting alcohol campaigns in Plano, Allen and Fairview. There is no organized opposition to the McKinney citizen group's efforts to force an election on alcohol sales, according to the report by WFAA-TV.