County residents will be able to vote in May on whether to allow Sunday alcohol sales in the unincorporated areas of Troup County.
Seventeen county business owners signed a letter to the County Commissioners requesting that they take action on allowing the sale of alcohol after noon on Sundays.
A.B. Patel, owner of Ribitz Bait & Tackle, told commissioners at Tuesday morning’s meeting that Sunday is a busy day for recreation at West Point Lake. Since his business is in close proximity, allowing sales would be beneficial to him and nearby businesses.
“A lot of people who are on the lake are leaving and looking for some sort of refreshment and going to either West Point or the city (of LaGrange) and it’s like being unfair to us,” said Patel. “And it becomes a nuisance for visitors.”
Scott Gordy, a representative from the McDonald Oil Company, parent company of Summit Food Store, said Troup County is the only county in Georgia where his company does not sell alcohol on Sunday.
“We have 27 stores in Georgia and 25 allow Sunday alcohol sales,” Gordy said. “The other two are in Troup County and are not selling on Sundays. We are losing out in some form or fashion to the surrounding areas.”
Though the company has several locations throughout Georgia and are not as greatly impacted by non-chained businesses like Patel’s, Gordy requested the issue to be put on a ballot as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming a more “divisive matter.”
He mentioned that three Summit locations recently have been annexed into LaGrange.
Commissioner Tripp Foster supported the request.
“They don’t just lose a simple bit of change,” he said. “They lose a lot more than that because people load up on gas for their boats and vehicles and buy groceries at other stores and drive right past ours to the lake.”
Commissioners made and approved a motion to place the Sunday alcohol sales measure on the May 20 ballot for vote.
Voters in West Point, LaGrange and Hogansville already have approved Sunday alcohol sales, which applies only to businesses in each of those cities’ limits. If county residents approve the measure in May, all licensed businesses in Troup County will be able to sell alcohol on Sunday.
In other business, commissioners approved a 2015 grant application for Troup Transit, which provides public transportation assistance to the elderly and disabled in Troup County. The grant for Georgia Department of Transportation funds. Since 1980 Troup County Parks and Recreation has run the program and averages about 500 trips per month in conjunction with 3,000 DHS trips per month, county officials said. Passengers pay $2 passenger fare per trip to supplement the DOT funds, and the program actually produces some revenue for the county, said County Manager Tod Tentler.
In other action, Commissioner Richard English was named vice chairman for 2013.