The Temple City Council approved a change to its ordinance allowing Sunday package sales of alcohol last Thursday after a referendum was approved by local voters on July 31 with a vote of 267 voters, or 54.05 percent, in favor of Sunday alcohol sales and 227, or 45.95 percent, against the measure.
Though the voters gave the measure their approval, the ordinance change wasn’t unanimous with Councilwoman Hiley Miller — who has been against the referendum since the beginning — voting against the change. Another Sunday sales opponent, Councilman Jay Mann, voted in favor of the ordinance change.
“All this does is allow for the Sunday sales that just passed with the referendum,” City Attorney Cynthia Daley said. “The election was certified on Friday (Aug. 3) so that part has been done.”
Sunday sales are available from 12:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon to 11:30 p.m. on Sunday night.
The city will hold another referendum on Nov. 6 to decide whether restaurants will have the ability to sell liquor by the drink on Sundays. Currently, only one restaurant has an alcohol license that would be affected by the change if the referendum is approved. With the ordinance change approved, if the November referendum is approved the liquor by the drink Sunday sales would begin immediately following certification of the election.
“This has now already been done so as soon as the election is certified in November there would be no further need to amend the code section if it passes in November,” Daley said.
In other business, the council approved a millage rate of 7.05 mills. This is the same rate the city has had for the past six years, though the recommendation from the state was to set the rate to 7.394 to avoid a drop in tax revenues. The city will lose $50,058 in property tax revenue by not rolling the millage rate forward to the state recommendation, according to the Carroll County Tax Digest.
Other action taken by the council included:
• Awarding the Temple Johnson Lake siphon drain improvements to the lowest bidder, Aquatic Restoration, for $18,500;
• Tabled a discussion of the water bill for the Major Temple Garden Club until it can be sent back to committee and a recommendation be brought back before council;
• Tabled the first read of an ordinance to regulate farm animals in residential and rural zoning classifications and refer it back to committee for changes to be made to the ordinance;
• Approved a resolution increasing the surcharge 50 percent for DUI and other alcohol-related fines given out by the police department so that the city’s revenue will not decrease due to a new state law that mandates the state receive 50 percent of the local fines for these infractions;
• Held the first read of an ordinance designating an open records clerk per state law;
• Approved certification of distribution for local sales and use tax with Haralson County. Temple will receive $5,800, or 0.16 percent. This is the first time Haralson County has included Temple in its LOST division, though the city has about 20 homes in the county.
“That’s $5,800 we haven’t been receiving in previous years,” Mayor Rick Ford said.