If voters agree, Columbia County could allow the purchase of carry-out packages of alcohol on the Sunday before Labor Day if commissioners approve a referendum Tuesday.
Set for vote at Tuesday’s commission meeting, a resolution would allow voters to decide during the July 31 party primaries whether to allow Sunday package sales of liquor, beer and wine.
If Tuesday’s resolution passes, and if a majority of voters in the referendum agree, then Sunday sales would start Sept. 1 – Labor Day weekend.
Alcohol sales in restaurants already are allowed on Sundays in Columbia County.
County Administrator Scott Johnson said he’s not sure why that particular starting date for sales was picked, except that it was the recommendation of the county attorney.
If approved, Columbia County would be among the later communities choosing to start Sunday sales. After approval during the November elections in Grovetown, that city became the first in the area with Sunday package sales, starting Dec. 11.
The referendums became possible last year after a change in state law allowing voters in cities and counties to decide whether to allow Sunday package sales. Only a few of those referendums have failed, with most, such as Grovetown’s, passing by comfortable margins.
Since sales in Grovetown began, workers at package stores, convenience stores and grocery stores in the city have reported greater-than-expected numbers of customers purchasing on Sundays.
Richmond County officials plan to place the referendum on the Presidential Preference Primary ballots March 6. Harlem City Administrator Jason Rizner said officials there have not yet decided when or whether to place a referendum on city ballots.