HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Holmes County voters have spoken: the alcohol referendum passed on Thursday.

That means restaurants that meet certain criteria can get a license to sell beer, wine and liquor by the glass.

Almost 17 percent of Holmes County voters turned out for the special election.

While only 1,847 out of the county’s 11,249 registered voters participated, 63 percent checked ‘Yes’ on their ballot.

“We believe this will be a good step forward for what we’re trying to do to grow,” said Holmes County Development Commission Executive Director, Joe Rone.

While the county commission was in favor of the measure, the nearly $22,000 price tag of the election was an obstacle because it wasn’t budgeted for this fiscal year.

That’s when the Holmes County Development Commission unanimously voted to foot the bill themselves.

“This was important enough that the county didn’t have it in their budget to do it so they allowed us to pay for it and we did and luckily we came out a winner-winner,” Rone said.

Rone said it was a roller coaster leading up to this point.

“Up until today I was worried about it but then so many people called and they called their friends and got them to go out and vote and that worked for us,” Rone said.

Rone said because there is so much growth already happening in the area, this measure will help Holmes County even more.

“If somebody is traveling from Texas to go to Disney World, and they want to stop and fill up their tank and stop at a good restaurant and eat, that’s going to be revenue for our county,” Rone said.

Rone said the development commission is excited about what they’re doing for the county and said he feels they’re moving in the right direction.

Restaurants with more than 51 percent of its revenue from food sales and have available seating for 150 or more in at least 2,500 square feet will be able to obtain a license to sell alcohol by the drink.

Zoning requirements and a 500 foot distance from schools will apply.