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Westmoreland Beer Sales Pour in Today, After Sunday Ban Lift--Mikayla Lewis

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WESTMORELAND, Tenn.- After years of debate, the Westmoreland City Council voted to lift their long-standing Sunday beer sales ban.  Today at noon, store beer cases were open for the first time.

Resident, Damien Birdwell said, " I just figure as an American I can buy beer any day I want to."

Before today, Birdwell and other residents could not buy beer even if they wanted to on a Sunday. Now, the council lifted the ordinance in hopes of generating more dollars.

Mayor Michael Carter explained, " It's not a tremendous amount of money, but small cities work on a very, very tight restricted budget. And any revenue is useful."

Mayor Carter also says residents would drive ten minutes outside of the city limits to purchase beer at any other city or county store. Frankie Alassar owns the Northside Shell gas station in Westmoreland. For the last four years, he says he lost anywhere from $800-$1,200 every Sunday because of the ban. Many residents also were not a fan, when they forgot about the restriction.

Alassar said, " Customers would be upset  and leave everything on the counter and leave. The reason is because everybody likes to stop one time."

Alassar says since serving beer at noon today, the store was busy all day. The owner had to restock the beer cases twice, because so many people were purchasing the beverage.

Alassar added, " Everybody happy and I'm happy too."

Some are not as happy, though. A hot topic for many years, some voiced their oppositions on a Topix forum earlier this year. Comments included concerns that Sunday beer sales would bring strip clubs and prostitutes down the road.

Mayor Carter said, "If you're that much against it, you shouldn't walk in anywhere that even sells it. I don't think it is going to change anyone's lifestyle."

Mayor Carter says the council consulted with the Westmoreland Police Department on the impact of Sunday beer sales. Carter says police are not concerned that it will cause crime and DUI's to rise.

Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17

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