The Waleska City Council unanimously voted Monday to include a referendum on the Nov. 5 general election ballot, allowing voters to decide whether or not the city will allow Sunday sales of alcohol — both package and by-the-drink.
City Manager Aimee Abernathy said the referendum up for a vote later this year is a “big deal,” and, if approved, could allow for the sale of beer and wine, and the sale of beer, wine and distilled spirits by the drink, on Sundays.
“There will be two different referendums,” Abernathy explained. “One will be for beer and wine package sale on Sundays; one will be for beer, wine and distilled spirits pouring on Sundays.”
If approved by voters, the Sunday sale of alcohol would be allowed beginning at 12:30 p.m.
In a separate vote, the council decided to move forward with writing an ordinance to allow the sale of distilled spirits by the drink, which would go back to the council for final approval at a future meeting.
Last June, the council approved the sale of beer and wine in restaurants, which impacted just one business in the city — the Eagle’s Nest pizza restaurant, just down the street from Reinhardt University.
“What that means is, establishments that apply to the city to sell distilled spirits, liquor by the drink, they could sell it like LongHorn or anybody else does. It’d be just like they do their beer and wine,” she explained. “You could buy a margarita or that type of thing at the establishment.”
Abernathy clarified that there would still be no liquor stores in the city if the council decided to allow restaurants to serve distilled spirits. “You could not sell vodka at the super market,” she said.
Abernathy said the distilled spirits by-the-drink ordinance would be written similarly to the county’s ordinance on the issue.
“We’ll pretty much follow, in consistency with, Cherokee County’s ordinance,” Abernathy said. “They help with our code enforcement, so ours will mimic Cherokee County’s.”