Though a signature from Gov. Nathan Deal prompted many local governments throughout the state to hold a Sunday alcohol sales referendum this year, Bryan County residents shouldn’t rush off to the booze aisle before the Sunday barbecue just yet.
Included in the 65 new Georgia laws that went into effect July 1, Senate Bill 10, which allows Sunday alcohol sales in grocery and convenience stores, won’t be official until city councils and county commissions throughout the state approve the referendum on ballots in November.
While many cities throughout the state, like Statesboro and Savannah, are taking measures to make sure this topic is included on ballots this fall, in Bryan County it’s unclear whether residents will get the chance to vote on the matter.
County Administrator Phil Jones gave no indication as to when Bryan County Commissioners might consider giving voters the chance to decide on Sunday alcohol sales.
“At this point, we have not even discussed this issue,” Jones said. “If it were to go before the voters that would most likely be November 8, 2011.”
But county commissioners can only decided if the matter will go before voters within the county’s jurisdiction. The cities of Pembroke and Richmond Hill can also choose to put Sunday sales on ballots for their residents to decide.
Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler said unless a large group comes before council requesting it be put on the ballot, he doesn’t foresee it being added. Fowler said he feels the current alcohol regulations are enough.
“I personally feel that if people want to drink on the weekends, they have six days to buy it in,” he said.
Read more in the July 13 edition of the News.