PEMBROKE — Pembroke residents might not have to leave town to buy a bottle of liquor in a few months.
On Monday, Loretta Smith, the chairman of the Pembroke ABC Board, told the Town Council that the town’s ABC store, which has been closed since 2008, could reopen in June.
“We met with a spokesman for the ABC Commission recently and they told us we only need a few more things to open our doors,” Smith said after the meeting. “We’re pretty positive they’ll say yes.”
The ABC Board has received a letter of commitment from a bank for financing and is waiting for an appraisal of the building to be completed.
The ABC store, which is 120 Vance St., closed in 2008 after it was found that inventory was missing. The closure has meant lost revenue for the town from alcohol sales. The reopening has been delayed by several factors, including an effort once to move to a new location, and changes in the ABC Board.
“We are going to make sure it’s customer friendly and modern,” Smith said. “It’s going to be self-service. By making it state of the art we hope to bring back a lot of the business and revenue we lost to the other ABC stores across the county. Once we are approved, renovations will begin.”
Renovations, hiring and training of employees will take approximately two months, according to Smith.
There was no estimate of how much tax revenue the town has lost during the last four years.
“It’s a convenience for consumers, students and businesses,” Town Manager Oryan Lowry said after the meeting. “Hopefully they will generate a profit and help out the town.”
Smith said there is also a safety factor.
“It’s safer for our locals,” Smith said. “They’re here at home being able to purchase local. It will hopefully keep at-risk drivers off the road since we will be in a convenient location for them to walk. It should lower the risk of drinking and driving.”
In other action, the council:
— Approved a petition giving Charly Lowery authorization to hold a “Peace In The Park” events in April and September, as well as a tree lighting in December. The festivities will be held at the Pembroke Town Park on Third Street.
— Approved a petition for a public assembly on behalf of Tony Locklear, authorizing Native American Interfaith Ministries to hold an event at the Pembroke Recreation Complex on June 15.
— Heard from Essie Jones, who is concerned about the increasing number of stray dogs in Pembroke.