Newberry County voters will get the opportunity to decide if alcohol will be sold on Sundays in the county.
County council passed the first of three readings Wednesday to send a question to voters asking if alcohol can be sold on Sunday both for on premises and off. This means stores, restaurants and bars could all provide alcohol to customers on Sundays.
“We are not voting to agree to sell alcohol but for a referendum for people to vote,” said councilman Edgar Baker.
“This is one of the few times the citizens can vote on something and voice their opinion,” said councilman Kirksey Koon.
The vote to send the referendum was approved by all five council members voting on the issue. Councilman Bill Waldrop was not at the meeting due to an injury and John Caldwell, who owns a liquor store.
A host of convenience store owners approached county council and asked for the referendum after Newberry City Council voted to send the question to city voters if alcohol could be sold at bars and restaurants.
The city voters will vote on Sunday sales of alcohol that is consumed where it is purchased in September.
If the county vote passes, alcohol could be sold anywhere in the county and in the municipalities and a vote by a town could not over rule the county vote.
If the county vote fails, but the sales passes in the city then the restaurants and bars in the city limits of Newberry could still provide the alcohol to customers.
The city vote will be on Sept. 11 and the countywide vote in the November election.
The county has to pass three readings of the ordinance and hold a public hearing by Aug. 15 and the question must be approved by the Justice Department to be on the ballot.