Voters will decide Sunday sales - beer and wine
Having an alcoholic drink on Sunday in Laurens County will become a ballot question in November.
Laurens County Council – hearing no objections or “pro” comments during 3 ordinance readings – agreed Tuesday night to have the issue voted on in the Nov. 6 General Election. Four members agreed to put the issue on the ballot – Chairman Joe Wood, members Dr. David Pitts, Stewart Jones and Diane Anderson. Garrett McDaniel abstained (he owns a business that sells beer), Ted Nash was absent for illness and Keith Tollison was absent for business.
Council members say they are not endorsing the idea of drinking beer, wine and liquor on Sunday – just having the voters decide the issue since surrounding counties allow it. The ordinance, if approved by voters, would allow bars and restaurants to serve beer, wine and liquor on Sunday, and stores to sell beer and wine on Sunday (liquor stores will not be allowed to open, that prohibition is statewide).
It’s part of a general liberalizing of alcohol policies in Laurens County – the Clinton City Council will give final reading May 7 to a special events ordinance that, for the first time, will allow beer and wine to be sold at city-sanctioned events, and Main Street Laurens on Friday will host its Sip N Stroll wine-tasting event on The Square in downtown Laurens.
The County Council took up a wide range of issues in its April 24 meeting (more in the May 2 issue of The Clinton Chronicle) before adjourning into a budget-planning session. In the regular meeting, a majority of council gave 1st reading, name-only to the FY18 budget of $22M.
Council members Wood, Anderson and McDaniel voted “yes” – council members Pitts and Jones voted “no”. The budget proposed by County Administrator Jon Caime includes a 2.2 mil tax increase, and grants to county employees a 2.1% cost of living pay adjustment. It has money for a full-time county planner, but no other new employees.
That budget has to be approved by a majority of council 2 more times, and have a public hearing before it becomes effective July 1.