said Sunday package sales and the Sunday sales of liquor by the drink could have a positive economic impact on the city.
“I look at it as an economic development issue, other people will look at it as a moral and religious issue,” he said.
SB 10 allows local governments statewide to hold referendums on whether or not to permit Sunday sales of alcohol in grocery and liquor stores. Next week, council will vote on a resolution to authorize a measure to appear on the November ballot which, if passed by the voters, would allow package sales on Sunday between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Wilbanks has previously said he supports the measure because local retailers, such as the , could be at a disadvantage if county residents vote to allow Sunday sales and Dacula does not.
The other potential ballot measure, the Sunday sales of liquor by the drink, could eliminate an existing disadvantage for Dacula restaurants.
“I get beat on every week by our restauranteurs about how much money they lose on Sunday because they can’t sell mixed drinks,” Wilbanks said.
Gwinnett County does allow such sales. The difference in law, Wilbanks said, has also caused major restaurant chains such as Red Lobster and Applebee's to shun the city.
“I call them every first of the year,” he said. “The first question out of their mouths [is] ‘Do you allow mixed drink sales on Sunday?’ and when I say no, they say ‘Well, we’re not interested.’ Goodbye. Click.”
If passed by council, voters will decide on November 8, 2011 if sales of distilled spirits by the drink will be allowed between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The city council will vote on both resolutions next Thursday, June 2 at 7 p.m. The council meets at , located at 442 Harbins Road in Dacula.