Ray Jones, a retired military veteran, has started a petition to legalize the sale of alcoholic beverages and mixed drinks in Somervell County.

Part of the reason Jones started the petition is because he’s had a long-time dream of opening a distillery near Chalk Mountain.

“I think it’s a shame that we can’t even sell liquor here in this county,” Jones said. “To me that’s ridiculous, so I've had a long-time dream of putting a distillery out here...and you can’t do that in a dry county; it’s gotta be wet. That’s my personal motivation to do that.”

Another reason Jones is starting this petition is due to tax money.

“This day, 100 years ago, you might be able to stop somebody drinking if you live in a dry county ... but today we’ve got Granbury, we’ve got Walnut Springs ... so you’re not stopping anybody from drinking by having a dry county; that’s just a fact. And all that’s happening is folks are leaving the county and going to these other counties and giving them our tax money ... To me, we’re losing probably $60-$70,000 of taxes a month because it’s going away,” he said.

Jones needs 1,300 signatures by Saturday, July 27 in order to get this on the ballot for the November election.

So far, Jones has about 200 signatures.

He said he started the process a little late. He knew it was a long shot but if it doesn’t happen this year, he will try again next year.

“The same people who are signing will probably sign next year and if it doesn’t work this year, I’ll start with that base and then we’ll develop some sort of blog or webpage or some sort of ongoing discussion about this, drum up a lot of support, and then next year when we start on May 26 or May 27, however the math works out next year, then we’ll start having little rallies to get people motivated,” he said.

Petitions can be found at several locations in Glen Rose including: The Back Porch, Loco Coyote, Big Cup Eatery, Casa Azteca, Los Primos, Inn on the River, Bordertown, Glen Rose Vet Clinic, Century 21 Quad J Realty and Squaw Valley Golf Course.

Walnut Springs also has petitions located at The Yellowdog Saloon and Blackie's Bait Shop.

“In Glen Rose, there are a lot of restaurants,” Jones said. “We have big tourist attractions down here. There’s a lot of restaurants and industrial chains who want to come to Glen Rose and open their doors but they won’t because we’re not wet.

“So, in addition to the tax money, there’s also possible job and economic development that is potential if we turn wet, because they won’t come here if we’re dry. If we turn wet then it opens that door for economic development and future growth for Somervell County and Glen Rose.

“If we’re not growing, we’re dying,” Jones added.

For more information, contact Jones at 254 300-6569 or email him at chalkmountaindistillery@gmail.com.