Dalton, Ga., OKs rezoning city wards

Dalton, Ga., OKs rezoning city wards

May 17th, 2011 by Mariann Martin in News

DALTON, Ga. - City Council members approved the first reading of an ordinance that will change city wards in accordance with 2010 census numbers.

Maps displayed during council members' regular meeting Monday night show much of the population growth in the city over the last 10 years has been in the northwestern area. Due to that change, the city's four wards shifted slightly north in some areas.

Councilwoman Denise Wood, who represents Ward 1, saw the biggest change. Instead of representing most of northern Dalton, Ward 1 was redrawn to northwestern Dalton. Councilman Dick Lowrey, who represents Ward 2, will now represent many of Wood's former constituents.

"I have more people, but the area is much smaller," Wood said after the meeting.

According to law, all wards must be within 10 percent of each other in population size. All of the council members still live within their districts after the changes.

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...

In other business, the council voted for a second time whether to place Sunday alcohol sales by the package on the November ballot. Two weeks ago, council members had voted to place only beer and wine on the referendum vote.

However, since the city allows sales of liquor, beer and wine, it must include all three items on the ballot, according to the new state law passed this spring by the Legislature.

Council members said they had decided not to include liquor after the majority of the eight liquor stores in the city had said they preferred not to be open on Sunday.

County commissioners last week voted to allow county voters a vote on Sunday sales of beer and wine. The county does not allow liquor sales.

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

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