Local News

May 12, 2014

Alcohol to be on fall ballot

— Whitfield County voters will once again decide whether to permit Sunday sales of alcohol in unincorporated parts of the county this fall.

The Board of Commissioners voted 3-1 on Monday to place two referendums on the Nov. 4 general election ballot. One would allow Sunday sales of malt beverages and wine by the package and the other Sunday sales of alcohol by the drink.

Commissioner Harold Brooker voted against the resolutions to place the referendums on the ballot, and Chairman Mike Babb typically votes only in the event of a tie.

Three years ago, voters rejected a referendum to allow Sunday package sales in unincorporated parts of the county by 59 percent to 41 percent. And Brooker said he believes it is too soon to put the measure before them again.

“I’m not necessarily opposed to selling alcohol on Sunday, but the people have spoken on this once,” he said.

Other commissioners said they view the referendums as economic development measures. Babb said that if voters approve the measures it could help stores in the unincorporated parts of the county become more competitive with those in surrounding areas where Sunday sales are legal. And Commissioner Lynn Laughter said the measures could help bring business into unincorporated parts of the county.

“We don’t have a lot of hotels and restaurants in the county. This could help us attract some,” she said.

No members of the public spoke at the meeting about either of the measures.

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