Walton family gives more than $220,000 toward an effort to turn Benton County into a wet county. This after brothers Tom and Steuart Walton recently pitched in additional $80,000 donation to the group "Keep Dollars in Benton County."
The group needs 40,000 signatures to get the measure on the November ballot. Ney said they’ve used the Walton’s money to hire a professional firm to gather the signatures.
"The Walton’s think that the Benton County residents should have the opportunity to be heard and they didn't want to see the requirements of 40,000 signatures and the expense to having to get those to stand in the way," said Marshall Ney, spokesperson for Keep Dollars in Benton County.
Ney said he's expecting more donations to come in from other sources. However, the Walton’s have made the biggest contributions.
"Whether it passes or fails you know they'll respect either decision but they at least want us to have a voice," Ney said.
Benton county residents can buy alcohol by the glass at restaurants and private clubs. Ney said if the measure is approved, it will boost Benton County’s economy.
"540 jobs would be added to Benton County if we were to pass this measure. We think the direct economic impact would be $22 million,” Ney said.
Ney said the goal is to get all signatures by July.