UPDATED 11/9/11 at 5:27 a.m.
Grocery and convenience stores within the city limits of Dacula will now be able to do something retailers in the unincorporated part of the county cannot -- sell beer and wine on Sundays.
Dacula voters passed the Sunday sales referendum by a 201 to 111 margin. The measure will allow sales of alcohol in grocery and convenience stores between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. The ordinance will likely go into effect in January.
Dacula was one of several Gwinnett County cities to hold a Sunday package sales referendum. Other cities putting the issue before the voters included Loganville, Lilburn, Suwanee, Auburn, Braselton, Lawrenceville, Snellville, Berkeley Lake, Duluth, Grayson, Sugar Hill and Norcross. All voted to allow Sunday sales.
Gwinnett County chose not to hold a Sunday package sales referendum during this election. As a result, grocery, package and convenience stores in unincorporated parts of the county will be unable to sell alcohol on Sundays while most city retailers will now be able to do so.
The other alcohol related referendum on the Dacula ballot -- Sunday sales of liquor by the drink -- passed 198 to 115. Previously, Dacula restaurants were unable to serve distilled spirits on Sunday. The new ordinance will allow sales on Sunday between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Two council races were also on the ballot in the Dacula municipal elections. , who ran unopposed, will serve another term. The race between incumbent councilman , political activist Vanessa Green and former Dacula councilman Hubert Wells is headed for a runoff. Montgomery and Wells received the most votes and will face each other in the runoff on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Unofficial results show Montgomery received 132 votes, Wells 103 and Green 65.
In total, 314 -- or 12.4 percent -- of the city's 2,533 registered voters participated in the Dacula municipal elections.
County Voters Pass E-SPLOST
Despite solid opposition, the 1 percent E-SPLOST, or education special purpose local option sales tax, will be in place for another five years. Just over 60 percent of county voters cast ballots in favor of the E-SPLOST, also known as SPLOST IV.
SPLOST IV is expected to raise $858.9 million revenue and fund projects including:
- Five new schools, one bus facility and nine additions
- Air conditioning for all middle and high school gyms and all elementary activity buildings
- Significant technology upgrades
- Previously postponed facility improvements
In the Dacula cluster, SPLOST IV will fund technology upgrades throughout the cluster as well as specific improvements at several schools. SPLOST IV will provide funding for air conditioning at , , , and . The funding will also go towards energy efficiency improvements at several schools and a 20-classroom addition at Alcova.
Similar upgrades are planned in the Mill Creek cluster. Gym air conditioning is proposed for , Jones Middle School, Harmony Elementary School, Ivy Creek Elementary, Patrick Elementary, , , and . Energy efficiency upgrades and technology upgrades are also planned.