Although some concerns were voiced, the Vinton County Board of Education officially chose not to object to requested beer and wine sale permits for the new Campbell's Market during its regular monthly meeting of Monday, Nov. 6. One of the issues the board members had to consider is that the store is less than 500 feet away from Vinton County High School.
As the discussion began, Superintendent Rick Brooks explained the board had four options to consider regarding the matter. Those were: (1) No objection; (2) formally objecting without a formal hearing request; (3) requesting the Alcohol Control Board hold a hearing in Columbus; and (4) requesting a hearing to be held in McArthur. The vote for no objection was 3-1 with members Jason Radabaugh, Millie Lane, and Cindy Strausbaugh voting yes and Board President Jeff Thacker voting no.
Brooks noted that Campbell's Market co-owners Rick and Beth Campbell have been straightforward with the board regarding their intent to apply for the state beer and wine sale permits and the business has already supported the schools. He also noted Campbell's has other stores near schools which sell alcohol and there have been no problems. Assistant Superintendent Mary Ann Hale added that the schools have -- and will continue to have -- zero tolerance policies regarding drug and alcohol use.
Superintendent Brooks wanted to point out that he agreed with Hale, but noted the board's vote had nothing to do with the school's drug and alcohol policies as they will not be changing. However, he also pointed out the public should be aware that those who purchase alcohol at Campbell's, or any other business in the county, cannot consume it on school property. He noted that co-owners Rick and Beth Campbell, along with General Manager Garry Saunders, run a quality business and that he has respect for them.
"We can consider many options here and certainly will act in the best interest of our students," said Brooks. Board member Jason Radabaugh stated that since the village is not dry, people will just buy alcohol somewhere else and agreed if the selling of beer helps keep a grocery store in the county, the board should not object.
Board member Cindy Strausbaugh added the board could object and the permit could still be granted. She also wants the public to know the schools are working hard to keep their high school/middle school facility drug free and alcohol free.
In other business from the meeting, the school board: Hired Barbara Cochran as a certified tutor; accepted a Title 6 B grant for $41,458.64; and approved the following stipends for the following positions: BLT Committee members ($25); Title Coordinator ($750); Family Support ($25 per meeting); Mentor - Years 1-2 ($500); and Go to Tech ($500).
The next meeting of the Vinton County Local Board of Education is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4 at the Board Office on West High Street in McArthur.