CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. officials and owners of a fledgling microbrewery obtained more than enough signatures needed on a petition to offer an alcohol-sale-and-consumption option to voters, officials said.
Initially, petitioners calculated they needed 436 registered Marble Falls voters based on 35 percent of participants in the last gubernatorial election but discovered they actually needed 463 names. By the Jan. 17 deadline, the group reached 491 signatures.
“We picked up a few additional on Friday morning, which was the deadline. We wanted to make sure we had some insurance,” EDC Executive Director Christian Fletcher said. “The leg work on getting signatures on the pages was done in large part by our board of directors, who took pages to their offices and into their neighborhoods and had their family members and their neighbors sign.”
The owners of a new business called Save The World Brewing Co., located in the Marble Falls Business and Technology Park off U.S. 281, prompted the petition drive.
The business is a production microbrewery specializing in Belgian-style ales.
Owners said a new state law effective Jan. 1 allowing for sale and consumption on premises at microbreweries and wineries with a permit prompted them to expand their operation plans. However, since the brewery’s location is outside of the Marble Falls sale and consumption zone set in 1988, voters must approve the option so the new establishment can apply for a license to serve alcohol by the drink.
The petition is a major step in that direction.
“With the awareness that was generated with this issue, there were a lot of people who came out in support of giving Save The World Brewery what they needed,” Fletcher said. “We felt some responsibility to help them out and make sure they were able to operate according to the business plan that they had set out.”
With the petitions verified by the Marble Falls city secretary, the city council on Feb. 18 will vote on putting the alcohol option on the May ballot.
“It’s a real economic development consideration for fairness and having a level playing field when new restaurants want to come to be able to pick any place in the city, rather than just those areas which were within the city limits in 1988,” Fletcher said.