Sunday sales proposal stirring little debate in Monroe County

pramati@macon.comOctober 14, 2012 

Monroe County voters will decide Nov. 6 whether their county joins the plethora of midstate locales that have approved Sunday alcohol sales.

So far, the proposal hasn’t been that much of a hot-button issue among county residents, members of the county commission said.

Chairman James Vaughn voted against putting the issue on the ballot, saying “I just have the general belief that six days (of alcohol sales) is enough.”

But Vaughn added that he has no problem with county residents having their say on the matter.

“I’m content with the voters deciding what they want,” he said.

District 1 Commissioner Larry Evans voted in favor of putting the measure on the ballot, saying he had heard from liquor store owners in Monroe County who didn’t want to see customers go to an adjacent county to buy alcohol on a Sunday.

Neither Vaughn nor Evans said they had heard of any residents objecting to the measure.

Among alcohol sellers in the county, some favor the measure while others are indifferent, saying that Sunday sales numbers won’t make much of an impact on their bottom line if the proposal passes.

Billy Hand, manager of the Ingles on Tift College Drive in Forsyth, noted that most residents who want alcohol on a Sunday already have a routine of buying it on Saturday.

He said he came to Forsyth from a small town that didn’t have a Sunday sales law, even though the neighboring town did.

“It didn’t make a nickel’s worth of difference,” he said.

However, Marvin Bowdoin, owner of Bowdoin’s Grocery in Juliette, said even though there probably won’t be a huge spike in business, store owners might as well keep the customers in Monroe County.

“I don’t see why you wouldn’t pass it,” he said. “They ought to pass it. I don’t think it will mean that much (extra) business, but you’ve got the surrounding counties doing it.”

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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