2016-07-11 / Front Page

Sunday alcohol sales ordinance on city agenda

By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Staff Writer

Gaffney City Council will consider an ordinance today (Monday) that would allow for Sunday sale of alcohol.

That’s if voters approve the referendum.

At its previous meeting, council told its administrator to draft a Sunday alcohol sales ordinance for a November referendum.

First reading of that ordinance will be at today’s 5 p.m. meeting. Another reading is required before the referendum is placed on the ballot.

The referendum is expected to ask city voters to allow beer and wine sales on Sunday at stores and restaurants inside the city limits.

Local businessman Darren Mason, who asked for the referendum, said local stores and restaurants would benefit from lifting the restriction.

He told council his research showed that Gaffney is among the few places along I-85 that doesn’t allow Sunday alcohol consumption and that the restriction has possibly stopped restaurants from locating here.

Other advantages of Sunday alcohol sales include — not losing revenue to neighboring cities, an increase in franchises wanting to locate here and possible annexation of grocery stores, convenience stores and restaurants.

Mason presented to council a petition signed by several restaurants, including Applebee’s, Fatz and Daddy Joe’s in support of Sunday alcohol sales.

Right now, Sunday alcohol sales are banned statewide, but a county or city can make its own rules.

Sunday alcohol sales isn’t the automatic loser it used to be in South Carolina. Greenville County voters will decide the issue in November. Spartanburg County also is drafting a similar ordinance for the voters to consider in November.

Religious reasons have been a major argument against allowing the sales.

Silica Springs Baptist Church Pastor Billy Elder has been vocal in his opposition to Sunday alcohol sales.

Council also will adopt a resolution today to honor Tom Reid. The councilman died unexpectedly June 29.

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