Greenwood County voters could have the opportunity later this year to vote on whether or not restaurants and bars in the county can serve alcohol on Sundays.
During Tuesday’s administration and finance committee meeting, Greenwood County Council directed acting county attorney Stephen Baggett to draft an ordinance which would enable Council to put a question on November’s general election ballot as to whether alcohol can be served on Sunday at bars and restaurants in the county.
First reading of the ordinance could take place at Council’s Jan. 21 regular meeting.
As currently proposed, the county’s prospective referendum question would likely only pertain to the Sunday sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants, and would not have any affect on the sale of alcohol in convenience stores and grocery stores.
The county’s possible referendum question would mirror one overwhelmingly passed by City of Greenwood voters in 2012. Bars and restaurants in the city are allowed to obtain permits to sell alcohol on Sundays, and many take advantage of that opportunity.
Council chairman Mark Allison said he thinks the best course of action is to allow county voters choose whether they want to allow alcohol in county bars and restaurants on Sundays. He also said he thinks the county’s law regarding the matter should mirror the city’s.
“I think that has been part of the problem,” Allison said. “Part of the problem has been that people in the county have felt like people in the city have an unfair advantage with being able to serve alcohol at times that you can’t in the county. So, I think we need to mimic (the referendum question) to what the city did, that way everybody is on the same page.
“(County Council) is not making the decision. We are making the decision to let the voters decide.”
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