County weighs alcohol boards merger

Catawba County commissioners are expected to vote Friday on a potential merger between the Catawba County and Taylorsville Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) boards.

If approved, the merger would result in annual savings for the Taylorsville board and create better product selection at its store in Alexander County.

Catawba County would also get .5 percent of the gross annual sales at the Taylorsville store if the merger is approved.

Catawba County’s ABC Board has assisted the Alexander County store since June 2011, when Taylorsville’s ABC Store manager was dismissed.

Since then, Catawba County ABC stores General Manager Ray Abernathy has been operating the Taylorsville store at the request of the Taylorsville Town Council and his own volunteering.

His management was only temporary, however, and now the commissioners will vote on a proposed merger plan between the two boards.

Details in the merger include:

• The Town of Taylorsville will appoint an ABC Board Member to join the Catawba County ABC Board, which will consist of six members, five named by the Catawba County Board of Commissioners and one by the Taylorsville City Council.

• There will be no term limits for board members. A chairperson will be appointed for a one-year term by the Catawba County Board of Commissioners.

• The Town of Taylorsville would receive a one-time “windfall” profit from the Catawba County ABC Board in a dollar amount associated with the store’s liquor inventory on Dec. 31, 2011, at 9:01 p.m., which could be as much as $80,000.

• The Taylorsville store will remain in its current location and remain in a previous three-year lease agreement between the local board and the Town of Taylorsville.

• In compensation for running the system, Catawba County ABC will receive .5 percent of gross sales.

Commissioners will meet Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the 1924 Courthouse in Newton.