City set to decide on Sunday package sales

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Council will hear public opinion before voting this Monday

By Shannon Brock

Citizens will get a chance to voice their opinions on the Sunday sale of package alcohol just before the council is scheduled to vote Monday night.

The Lawrenceburg City Council will host a public hearing at 6 p.m. at the Anderson Senior Center to discuss Sunday sales.

The council’s regularly scheduled meeting for the month of May will follow the public hearing at 7 p.m. The council meeting will also be at the Senior Center.

During April’s regularly scheduled meeting, Councilman Ken Evans said the Senior Center was a good location because it was all on one level and wouldn’t present any problems for elderly citizens who wished to attend the hearing or the meeting. He also said he preferred to have both events on the same night so that those at the hearing could stick around to hear what the council decided.

Councilman Thomas Vaughn introduced an ordinance to allow the Sunday sale of package alcohol at a city council work session on April 7. After discussion, the council decided to schedule a public hearing on the issue.

Evans, Councilman Larry Giles and Councilman Bobby Durr all voiced their opinions against Sunday package sales during the work session. However, two of the three voted in favor of Sunday liquor by the drink sales back in August 2007.

Durr was the lone dissenter in that vote, while Evans, Giles, Councilman Sandy Goodlett and former councilwomen Brenda Gritton and Rose Cunningham cast the votes to approve the measure.

Goodlett has not voiced an opinion on Sunday package sales.

Giles said voting in favor of liquor by the drink sales is a different issue than what is being presented this time around.

“Then, we were voting on the option of people to go to a restaurant and eat,” Giles said. “Not just arbitrarily for anybody to go buy it on Sunday. They have the opportunity to do so on Saturday night or Monday morning.”

Evans agreed.

“They have six days to buy it, let’s take a break one day,” he said.

Evans said he can’t see any economic development coming from passing the ordinance, but Vaughn’s argument was that it might serve as a drawing point to bring people into Lawrenceburg.

None of the surrounding cities or counties offers Sunday package sales, and Vaughn hopes it would bring people into Lawrenceburg, not only to buy alcohol but to spend more money while they are here.

Also, the council would have the option of applying a 5 percent tax to the Sunday package sales — a tax already applied to other liquor sales. City Clerk Robbie Hume said the state allows entities to apply the tax to support police operations.

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.