Sunday alcohol on Coweta ballots July 31

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL sarah@newnan.com It's official. Coweta County voters will decide on Sunday alcohol sales in July. The Coweta County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to put two Sunday sales questions on the ballot for the July 31 general election primary.
One question will be for Sunday package sales of beer and wine in stores; the other will be for "consumption" or by-the-drink sales in restaurants and hotels. Newnan and Senoia already allow both types of Sunday sales; Haralson and Sharpsburg voters approved Sunday beer and wine package sales on March 6. The commissioners combined both resolutions into one vote. There was some discussion on the matter Tuesday. "I want to start by saying this is one that I have struggled with," said Commissioner Tim Lassetter. "Primarily for two reasons. One is because I'm against Sunday sales in particular. I don't think we need it or have to have it. There are six other days of the week that people can purchase," he said. "But, on the other hand, I think it is important for us, when we have the opportunity, to allow our citizens to vote on things like this." Commissioner Bob Blackburn had similar comments. "I'm not particularly in favor of it," he said. Sunday is "the Lord's day. But I think the people's right to vote on that issue supersedes any of my opinions. If the majority say no, then it goes down." Since some Coweta cities and surrounding areas have already approved Sunday sales, "the cat is out of the bag, so to speak," Blackburn said. And Coweta residents can just drive a little farther to buy alcohol on Sundays. Not having the ability to sell on Sundays also "puts some of our business owners at a disadvantage," Blackburn said. Commissioner Al Smith had a similar concern. "There are some businesses that are selling by the drink in the city and have franchises in the county" that can't sell on Sundays, he said. If the voters approve Sunday sales, that "would allow them to have a consistent pattern of sales," Smith said. "I certainly have my own personal opinion," Smith said. However, "to allow the voters to choose, I think, is the fair thing to do." Under state law, Sunday package sales can only take place between the hours of 12:30 p.m.. and 11:30 p.m. The resolution calling for Sunday consumption sales states that they can take place between 12:30 p.m. and midnight.


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