More Questions For ABC Board

A North Carolina county's alcohol board hired the same contractor for all four liquor stores built since 2004 and the final price tags for those structures was often well above the contract bids.

The Star-News of Wilmington reported Sunday that outgoing New Hanover County Alcoholic Beverage Control administrator Billy Williams signed off on changes that doubled and tripled the contracts' value.

Williams and contractor Lee F. Cowper say they did nothing wrong. But others said taking bids for a store shell then allowing the same contractor to finish the building without another bidding process is unusual.

Williams also has been criticized for his high salary and travel expenses. And the newspaper reported that Williams hired Cowper for work on his home.


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  • by Beth on Feb 22, 2010 at 07:36 AM
    Since Reginald knows all about the financial workings of the abc system in NC, Reginald how about figuring out how much NC pays for alcohol rehab and DUIs, etc. The cost of this side of the equation will way out ride the $$ coming from the sells. I am not even asking you to consider the physical and emotional detriment alcohol contributes. Tax it sky high and maybe it will cause some to refrain. Look at the Around the Scene in the Daily Reflector and see all of the people who think they are "in the incrowd" who cannot carry on a conversation without a drink in their hand. Pitiful!
  • by Reginald Location: Winterville on Feb 22, 2010 at 07:13 AM
    Reply to Scott: As with all alcohol related items, ignorance always raises it's ugly head. TAXPAYERS DO NOT PAY FOR THE ALCOHOL SYSTEM IN NC. All liquor taxes are derived ultimately from the purchase of the product by the CONSUMER. Retail sales less expenses and all taxes generate profits that are then distributed to the county where those sales occured. I have lived in states with private stores and believe me, even with the latest bad publicity, the last thing NC needs is having Krogers,Wal-mart,CVS or any other private enterprise selling liquor. If that is allowed, see where their profits go. Not back to the county that generates it, but in their pockets. Remember, if you don't buy booze you don't pay taxes to build, maintain or pay for the stores we presently have statewide.
  • by Scott on Feb 22, 2010 at 05:37 AM
    Get rid of ABC stores. They are a waste. All the Taxpayer money that is required to pay people to operate them and the people to adminster them. Get rid of the beauracracy and save some money by letting grocery stores carry liquor. They already carry beer and wine. These are unnecessary cost for the NC Taxpayers that should be done away with. How many millions would it save. Tax the liquor different if you must, but don't try and support an entire infrastructure to sell it.
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