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Water Valley Aldermen legalize cold beer sales

Water Valley residents can now purchase cold beer in retail stores, thanks to a board of aldermen vote at this week’s meeting.

Mickey Howley, Director of the Water Valley Main Street Association, said the vote is an effort to keep up with the times.

“Much like Oxford was for many years, retail beer sales were not allowed to be refrigerated,” Howley said. “We made the transition finally and emerged the 21st century. It’s chipping away at these old laws.”

Water Valley was a dry town until December 2007, when beer sales were legalized. However, residents had to wait 10 and a half years before they could get an ice cold beer straight from the store.

The resistance to cold beer sales for so many years is something Howley said he chalked up to Mississippi’s various and asunder alcohol laws and religious reasons.

Alcohol sales have continued to be a dividing issue in the community, with the majority of people for relatively moderate alcohol sales in terms of retail and restaurants and a powerful few against it,” he said. “Even at the meeting, the mayor said he does not feel it was a good thing, but it was inevitable. Like everything else, we’re just catching up with the times.”

A new truck stop is being constructed on the edge of Yalobusha County, which could have led to potential revenue loss had the aldermen not voted to legalize cold beer sales, Howley said.

Water Valley is only five years behind Oxford, which legalized cold beer sales in 2013. Lafayette County is still a dry county, with Oxford being the only place cold beer is legally sold, but Yalobusha County is a wet county, according to the state department of revenue.

Unlike the Oxford Board of Aldermen, who voted 6-1 in favor of cold beer, the Water Valley decision was unanimous.

A spokesperson from the Water Valley Board of Aldermen did not respond to request for comment.