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TAD referendum awaits governor's signature

Gwinnettians could go back to the polls to consider the use of a revitalization tool.

The measure, which would set up a July referendum on tax allocation districts, passed in the Georgia Senate on Friday, and awaits the governor's signature, Rep. Bobby Reese said.

The idea, where the expected increases in tax revenues by redevelopment are used to levy bonds for infrastructure improvements, failed in a 2006 countywide referendum. But voters in nine cities approved the use of tax allocation districts last year.

Chuck Warbington, executive director of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District, said the news of another referendum is encouraging, since a proposed redevelopment of the OFS plant off Jimmy Carter Boulevard hinges on the funding mechanism.

"(Developers are) still committed to the site. They're waiting for the legislature to see what the next step needs to be," Warbington said. "They are committed to the project."

The Senate gave Reese, R-Sugar Hill, another victory Friday, passing his legislation to stiffen the penalties for dogfighting, making the crime a felony. The legislation, which also awaits Perdue's signature, would also make it a crime to attend dogfights and to breed the animals for fighting. Reese said his bill also protects hunters.

By the way, Reese said he may have found another solution to Gwinnett's issue involving serving alcohol on Sundays at the planned minor-league baseball stadium.

While officials said they believe they could use a law that allows the sale of alcohol in places that generate at least half of their revenue from food, Reese said he found another law involving Fulton County the General Assembly may be able to tweak to give the county authority on the alcohol provision. Reese said he will consider that next session, which is expected to end just prior to the Gwinnett Braves' home opener in April 2009.

A proposal to grant counties as well as cities the right to sell at stadiums on Sunday has stalled after a House committee attached a controversial proposal to allow Sunday package sales statewide.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.