Ringgold to vote on Sunday alcohol sales

Ringgold to vote on Sunday alcohol sales

July 25th, 2012 by Tim Omarzu in News

Nick Millwood

POLL: Should stores be permitted to sell alcohol on Sundays?

The City Council in Ringgold, Ga., voted unanimously Monday night to let the voters decide in November whether to allow Sunday alcohol sales by the package at stores and by the drink at restaurants.

Councilman Terry Crawford wants Ringgold residents to have a chance to decide the issue -- though he already plans to vote: No.

"I feel that's the Lord's day, and keep it righteous," Crawford said, adding, "I would not keep the public from voting on it."

Even Councilman Nick Millwood, who put the issue on City Council's agenda, expects churches to rally to defeat Sunday alcohol sales -- not that he objects.

"It's a good opportunity for them to come together and get behind something," Millwood said. "I anticipate it's going to be voted down."

Depending on what voters decide in November, Catoosa County could have a patchwork of regulations on Sunday alcohol sales.

The Fort Oglethorpe City Council voted 3-2 Monday night against placing measures on the November ballot that would have allowed Sunday package sales and drinks by the glass.

County OKs referendum

Meanwhile, the Catoosa County Commission opted to let all the county's voters decide in November on three ballot measures affecting the unincorporated area of the county. Voters will decide whether to allow sales of hard liquor and whether to allow Sunday package sales and sales by the drink.

Sunday sales won't be on the ballot in nearby Walker and Dade counties.

"I have not had one single person even mention it to me," Walker County Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell said. Walker County allows package sales of beer and wine and sale by the glass during the week -- though no hard liquor sales.

Dade County allows package sales of beer and wine, but no sales by the drink at restaurants during the week.

Dade County Executive Ted Rumley said there's been no call to put Sunday sales on the ballot.

"I've never had a commissioner that would support it," he said.

Trenton Mayor Anthony Emanuel said there's been no discussion of Sunday sales.

"It's an issue that would have to have a groundswell [of support] from the community," Emanuel said. "It's gotten no conversation."

No discussion in LaFayette

The LaFayette City Council hasn't discussed the matter, Councilman Chris Davis said.

Michael Lovelady, who serves wine and beer at One Eleven restaurant he owns on LaFayette's square, said there's been demand for mimosas, a blend of champagne and orange juice, at Sunday brunch.

Customers will say, "Oh, good. You're going to have mimosas on Sundays," Lovelady said, and he'll respond, "No, we're not."

Lovelady, who's opening a second pub-style restaurant in LaFayette, would like the Sunday sales question to be put on the ballot -- though he's not sure it would pass.

"LaFayette's a fairly conservative town," he said.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6651.