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Commission mulls allowing sale of holiday spirits
Changes to alcohol ordinance would allow sale of alcohol on Thanksgiving, Christmas, election day
Distilled Spirits

Bryan County Commissioners are pondering a major overhaul to the county’s alcoholic beverage ordinance, one which could allow alcohol sales on election day – provided they’re not within 250 feet of a polling place – as well as on holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Commissioners held a first reading of the proposed ordinance at their meeting Tuesday night in Richmond Hill. No action was taken. A second reading could be held next month.

Commission Chairman Carter Infinger said he’s been contacted by local business owners in favor of sales on holidays and noted and changes will “reflect state laws and be similar to rules in other counties, where they already allow the sale of alcohol on holidays.”

Under the proposal, the updated ordinance will also regulate alcohol sales at special events, pave the way for the creation of entertainment districts and up the time for Sunday liquor by the drink sales to 11 a.m., if voters approve that change in a November referendum.

A draft of the updated ordinance shows it also would regulate everything from who can sell alcohol to how it can be dispensed and consumed in mixed use developments.

If approved, the ordinance also would address microbreweries, local distilleries and farm wineries, update the county’s process for alcohol licenses and bar cards and create a 3% tax on the retail price per drink for distilled spirits. For example, taxes on wholesalers would include a 22-cent tax per liter of wine or distilled spirits, while malted drinks would be taxed at 5 cents per 12 ounces, and beer would be taxed at $6 for containers smaller than 15-1/2 gallons, or a half-barrel keg, under the draft ordinance, which county officials say is the first attempt at a comprehensive update to the ordinance since 1996.

In other business: County will be on Jekyll Island today and Friday for a strategic planning season. The event will be at the Westin on Jekyll Island. The workshops, which are facilitated and usually last all day, typically costs taxpayers around $5,000.

Commissioners learned a red light at Highway 280 and the Oracal Parkway in Black Creek was approved by the Georgia Department of Transportation and should be finished early in 2023.

Commissioners denied a permit that would have allowed a 220-unit apartment complex on Harris Trail and denied a developer’s request to remove a walking trail and add another lot to the Magnolia Hill/Wexford planned use development.

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