Loganville to let its voters decide controversial Sunday sales issue

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

LOGANVILLE — During a special-called council meeting at 11 a.m. Monday, Loganville council members voted to let city residents decide whether Sunday retail sales of alcohol will be allowed in the city.

The move drew attention from cities throughout the state and beyond, with the vote making Loganville one of the first cities to take such action following recent state legislative action.

A November referendum will give voters the power to allow or deny the retail package sale of malt beverages and wine on Sundays, as well as whether restaurants can sell liquor by the drink on Sundays.

“State law in Georgia stipulates that (the issue) has to be decided by voter referendum. We aren’t saying whether you should or shouldn’t drink on Sundays. We’re just letting voters decide,” City Councilman Mark Kiddoo said.

Surprisingly, few constituents and stakeholders in the matter showed up for Monday’s council meeting, but the reason for the sparse turnout was unclear.

Those in favor of allowing Sunday alcohol sales cite much-needed tax revenue for the growing municipality. Those against allowing Sunday sales cite ethical and moral reasons for their opinions.

Gov. Nathan Deal has not officially given his seal of approval on allowing voter referendums statewide, but he has indicated that he supports the measure and will sign the bill into law. Cities throughout the state will only hold such referendums if Deal signs the bill.