Sunday alcohol sales could happen by Christmas

by | November 29, 2016 9:45 am

Clarendon County residents could be buying beer and wine on Sundays as early as the Christmas holiday, according to Clarendon County Administrator David Epperson.
Epperson turned in all information Monday to the state Department of Revenue and the state commission in charge of alcohol licensing.
“We had to compile the certified results from the Nov. 8 ballot where the Sunday Sales Referendum passed by a large margin,” Epperson said. “Once the state agency inputs that data and information, and once our name is listed on their website as available for the Sunday permit, businesses may then begin to apply for it.”
County Council members verified the vote result during their Nov. 14 regular meeting.
“The total number of ballots cast were 12,100, with 7,136 in favor, while 4,165 were opposed,” said Epperson during the meeting. “It has to be presented to council to approve and accept these totals before we can turn information over to the state.”
Epperson said that information turned over included tax forms for Manning, Summerton, Turbeville and the county. Forms for Paxville had yet to be turned in by Monday, he noted, but he was told by the state licensing agency to go ahead and send all relevant information.
“The tax revenue that comes from the sales will go back into that community,” said Epperson. “Now, with Turbeville, they have a town ordinance that forbids the sale of alcohol within city limits, so this Sunday referendum won’t affect them.”
Epperson said that those already possessing a permit to sell alcohol from Monday through Saturday will be able to apply for a permit for Sunday sales, or they can extend their permit to include Sunday.
“Once they apply for the permit, when we are listed on the website as available to do so, then the business will follow the steps and get licensed,” Epperson said. “They should be able to get the permit and begin selling right then. I don’t think there are any other hoops they need to go through.”
Epperson said Clarendon is one of 14 counties that passed a Sunday Sales Referendum on election day. Neighboring counties that did so include Orangeburg, Lee and Williamsburg.
“Had we not passed this, we would have been like the hole in the donut,” Epperson noted. “The city of Sumter allows sales on Sunday from restaurants, but not from businesses. I imagine that with all these counties passing such a referendum, that Sumter County would likely try it in the next general election.”
Epperson said he’s unsure when exactly the Department of Revenue will sign-off on the county’s results and list Clarendon on its website as a go for Sunday permits.
“They’ve assured me that they will get it up as fast as they can,” he said. “Once our name pops up on their website, businesses can apply. Obviously, I think it will be in by the end of the year, but I’m thinking it should be sometime in December.”

comments » 5

  1. Comment by Rev John Matthews

    November 29, 2016 at 13:24

    Sad day for our county and state ! A day will come when we look back but it will be to late.

  2. Comment by Thom

    November 29, 2016 at 14:16

    The people have spoken, the Sunday Sales Referendum has passed. We should all celebrate by going out on the first Sunday and buying a drink. We stay happy, businesses make a little more money and the county picks up a little extra revenue. A win-win-win. In all seriousness, it’s not big deal. People in this county have had drinks on Sundays for years. This isn’t going to lead to any negative increase, but it will bring a little bit of money into the county.

  3. Comment by Tim Hinson

    November 29, 2016 at 17:01

    A very sad day. Those that wanted this touted brining in extra restaurants as the reason. Not the actual alcohol sales. But here is our story, hurrying those very sales. If this leads to one additional restaurant in our county within a year, I will be very surprised. I say in a year, we will be counting what it cost us, and what we have lost.

  4. Comment by Suzanne Cooper

    November 30, 2016 at 13:29

    REV. MATTHEWS, whereas I share your concern, it’s not the sale of alcohol that is the problem. Drinking alcohol is not a sin. Gluttony is where the sin comes in. After all, the first miracle Jesus performed, was at a wedfing. Remember, he turned water into wine.

  5. Comment by Annonymous

    November 30, 2016 at 13:35

    And I would dare say the wine Jesus served at the wedding feast in Canaan was non-alcoholic….pure fruit from the vine – nothing fermented about that.
    Just like everything else we humans take what is pure and right and turn it into something it was never intended to be!
    I regret that our county is more concerned about the $$$$ than the are the citizens of the county…Just as you said Pastor Matthews, a sad day indeed.

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