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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — There’s a battle over booze brewing between two Brunswick County towns.

A bill in a General Assembly committee, if passed, would let Leland residents decide if they want liquor stores in town. Some of their neighbors in Belville are not happy about it.

Alcohol sales are basically how Belville got started,” Mayor Mike Allen said. It’s one of the main reasons the town was incorporated back in 1977.

“We have two stores here in the town, and they represent the town well and the county provides the rest,” Allen said.

The two liquor stores do more than just represent the town. They provide around 10 percent of its annual revenue. That’s why Allen and other town leaders fought back against a bill Leland pushed for in the General Assembly to let residents vote to have an ABC board of their own.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” Allen said.

But fairness has a different definition for some residents in Leland.

“I’m a Leland resident, and Leland should have the same opportunity to open up an ABC store as Belville,” Stan Silwinski said.

“We would lose revenue, and the county would lose revenue if Leland gets their ABC bill passed through the legislature,” Allen said.

But Belville won’t have to worry for now at least. One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-18th District) says the legislation is on hold, the StarNews reports.

Leland’s mayor and town manager did not return calls today for comment.

Comment on this Story

  • Old Towne Resident

    I want to think Mayor Allen for catching the House Bill before it was made into law. All the Towns in Brunswick County should have the right to vote if they want an ABC board. Our elected officials should not be able to exempt one town from the current law in effect and not inform the other Towns in Brunswick County. This is not just about the revenue, its about equal protection under the current law. Why should one Town be exempt and the other 18 not even informed.

  • Really?!??

    Is that true? How is that possible ? Some towns, like Belville aren;t 7 mile sin diameter. How can it be justified that Belville has 2 (one really in the middle of leland) and Leland can;t have one?

  • Olde Towne Resident

    What most, including the TV station and the bloggers, are missing is that this “Act” which Leland tried to sneak through is ILLEGAL under the NC Constitution which states: “No local Act shall be enacted which supercedes an Act of the General Assembly”. Leland tried just that and got caught! As for Hamiltons comment regarding distance, the NC General Statutes mandate a seven mile distance between stores in adjoining towns.

  • Robert Earl

    Belville is the biggest joke of a town I could ever imagine. They have no right to exist. They mooch off Leland and Brunswick County, using all of their services and giving back what in return… 2 liquor stores that make up 10% of their budget. Thanks Belville for the booze. Better yet, why don’t you give Leland your stores and then unincorporate. Shame on you, Suzi for caving in to a town with a couple of power-hungry politicians.

  • Olde Towne Resident

    What neither the TV station nor the bloggers are addressing is that what Leland is trying to sneak through is ILLEGAL and in VIOLATION of the NC Constitution which states: “No local Act shall be enacted that supercedes the Acts of the General Assembly”. This is an overt attempt to do just that!

  • Rita Blake Russ

    I am forty-three years old and my family has lived in Leland for more years than I have been around. People with attitudes like yours about Leland kept us, for many years, from having to worry about you hoity-toity people coming into our town and making changes that we didn’t want made. Those “spots in the road,” as you put it, did not used to be part of Leland (Belville still is NOT part of LELAND and I hope it never will be!), but when Leland incorporated and became a town, they annexed Woodburn as part of the town. (Kind of like how Wrightsboro and Murrayville are all “areas” of New Hanover County, but their mail says Wilmington.) When you discuss Belville and Leland in the same breath, you are doing a grave disservice to the folks that have worked hard to clean up Leland and take it back to its roots as a nice rural town.

  • Rita Blake Russ

    I am forty-three years old and my family has lived in Leland for more years than I have been around. People with attitudes like yours about Leland kept us, for many years, from having to worry about you hoity-toity people coming into our town and making changes that we didn’t want made. Those “spots in the road,” as you put it, did not used to be part of Leland (Belville still is NOT part of LELAND and I hope it never will be!), but when Leland incorporated and became a town, they annexed Woodburn as part of the town. (Kind of like how Wrightsboro and Murrayville are all “areas” of New Hanover County, but their mail says Wilmington.) When you discuss Belville and Leland in the same breath, you are doing a grave disservice to the folks that have worked hard to clean up Leland and take it back to its roots as a nice rural town.

  • JumpinJehosaphat

    What an a$$. You almost have to go out of your own way to say something as stupid as he did.

    Some other image enhancing projects Allen might consider:
    * Change the town logo to two drunks hanging onto a “Welcome to Belville” sign for support.
    * Have an annual Founder’s Day celebration where everyone gets so drunk that they pass out in the parking lot of one of the two liquor stores. As part of the celebration he could include barfing, hiccupping and incoherent speaking contests.
    * Start up a “Miss Drunken Belville” pageant. The contestant who falls down the most is declared the winner, providing the judges are still capable of tallying up the scores.

    I’d better stop. Mike Allen might read this and think that these are really great ideas.

  • beach guy

    Here’s a suggestion if the only reason you incorporated was to get a ABC store aka state and local taxes why not give your residents and the rest of us tax break and un-incorporate.
    Maybe you can save everyone a boatload of cash by not paying for all the services that the county already provides its not like it a historical village being that you did not incorporate until 1977.
    This was a money grab by power hungry individuals that use tax revenue to justify their existence what good have you done with this money?
    The citizens of Belville can un-incorporate if I were them I would be talking to my rep in Raleigh about doing just that.

  • lonetraveler

    I moved here forty two years ago and was told that the “other side of the river” was seedy, dangerous and only trash and criminals lived there and to stay away. For many years my family would drive through there on the way to Long Beach where we had a beach place. It was seedy then and its seedy now. I’ve always wondered why there are little spots in the road called names, like Woodburn and Belville. Why on earth are these separate from Leland? Don’t they share the police force? Utilities? It is obvious that that place will never be cleaned up and developed into a real little town until a big change is made. I have owned rental property in Stoney Creek Plantation for 11 yrs and now I live “on the other side of the river”. It would be nice if someone would clean up Belville and change the impression that it is a liquor store and run down buildings, I do hope that the scum who lived in the old motel have at least moved on.

  • Challengetheworld

    There is NO BELVILLE. Its just paperwork that happens inside of Leland. Leland provides all the services for Belville there is no reason this town should even exist. Its a HUGE JOKE. The mayor is a joke, the whole town is a joke. JOKE.

    There are two ABC stores in LELAND already, they just happen to have a Belville address. JOKE. Its all the same stupid zip code too, which, guess what…..

    If you send mail to 123 Anywhere St Leland, NC 28451 or 123 Anywhere St Belville, NC 28451 IT goes to the same place.

    Enough with this bull.

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