Taylorsville takes on alcohol sales
by Neil McGahee
Nov 05, 2013 | 643 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A handful of Taylorsville’s 209 residents made their feelings known about alcohol sales within the city limits at a public hearing Monday.

“We don’t need it,” said Harvey Wood, one of seven who opposed the issue. “You can go three miles down the road that way or five miles the other way and get all you want. I just don’t think we need it.”

Currently only one store would be affected by the ordinance.

But Lamar Cantrell cautioned residents to look at the big picture.

“Once you open it up to one, it will be hard to keep others from coming,” he said. “Soon they will want to serve beer there. If somebody opens up a beer joint, what do you do?”

Eddie Newman was one of four supporters.

“You can buy alcohol anywhere,” he said. “All stores sell it — Wal-Mart, Kroger, Ingles — and more than half the voters supported it in a referendum. We might as well get the tax revenues from it.”

Kenneth Rogers brought up the sticky point of enforcement of the law due to the unique position of Taylorsville.

“When Taylorsville was incorporated some years ago, it stretched across both Bartow and Polk counties,” Mayor Mitchell Bagley explained. “One-third of the city was in Polk County and two-thirds was in Bartow. Depending on what side of the city it’s on, either Polk County government or Bartow County government administers the regulations. Because the one store that would be affected by the ordinance is in Polk County, it would be regulated by the Polk County police.”

Even if a motion is made to allow alcohol sales, the issue is far from settled.

“According to the Georgia Municipal Code, a municipality may pass an ordinance authorizing sales of alcoholic beverages in the city because that is a duty assigned them by the voters,” Bagley said. “But a referendum is required for Sunday sales, package sales and the sales by the drink of distilled spirits. Personally I would rather have the whole thing go to a referendum, but Georgia law says that’s our — the city council and mayor — responsibility.”

Bagley said a decision will be made at the Dec. 2 council meeting.