published Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Whitfield County to vote on Sunday alcohol sales

Javier Espitia, left, buys two packs of Coronita Extra from Jennifer Crisp, a cashier at Cox's Spirits, in Dalton, Ga.
Staff File Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Javier Espitia, left, buys two packs of Coronita Extra from Jennifer Crisp, a cashier at Cox's Spirits, in Dalton, Ga. Staff File Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press

DALTON, Ga. — Whitfield County residents will decide whether to approve Sunday sales of beer and wine by the package in November, after county commissioners voted unanimously Monday evening to place the item on the ballot.

Because the county does not allow liquor sales by the package, only beer and wine sales will be considered.

County commissioners also discussed placing Sunday sales of alcohol by the drink on the ballot, but tabled the issue after some discussion. A final decision likely will be made on that issue by the end of June, Chairman Mike Babb said.

Waiting to decide on the issue would allow county residents to provide opinions, Babb said.

The county currently allows sales of liquor by the drink six days of the week. A referendum to change that to include Sunday was defeated narrowly several years ago, commissioners said during their meeting.

The Dalton City Council voted last week to place Sunday package sales of beer and wine on the ballot but will have to vote again on the issue. Because the city allows sales of liquor, beer and wine, it must include all three items on the referendum vote.

Georgia law long has forbidden the Sunday sales of packaged alcohol, but this spring the Legislature approved a bill allowing cities and counties to decide whether to place a question on the issue on local ballots.

If the measure is passed by voters in November, alcohol could be sold from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Before the commissioners’ vote Monday evening, Doug Keener, a former commissioner, urged them to pass the resolution.

“Anything we can do to benefit our businesses in these tough economic times is important,” Keener said. “This may also open another door for additional opportunities — there are certain chains that will not consider a location unless it has these provisions.”

Contact staff writer Mariann Martin at mmartin@timesfreepress.com or 706-980-5824.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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timesfreepress said...

Do you think Whitfield County should allow beer and wine sales on Sundays?

May 10, 2011 at 12:25 a.m.
mewzikman said...

If people want to drink on Sunday, they are going to buy it on Saturday. Senseless to not sell it on Sunday and bring $$$ in to the county and state. Dry counties are a thing of the past. Bet even the preachers have wine with Sunday dinner.

November 9, 2011 at 8:48 a.m.
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