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Plans for referendum on alcohol sales take step

Abbeville County Council met Monday night, clearing the way to having a referendum in the Nov. 3 general election on a measure that would allow Sunday alcohol sales.

Before Monday night's meeting began, Council held a public hearing on the ordinance, described in the agenda as "an ordinance calling for a referendum and ballot question in regards to possession, sale and consumption of alcoholic liquors by the drink to bonafide nonprofit organizations and business establishments authorized to be licensed for consumption on premises sales and to allow the sale of beer and wine at permitted off premises locations without regard to the days or hours of sales."

Nobody signed up to speak during the public hearing.

During the meeting itself, Council passed third and final reading on the ordinance, with Council member Jason Bonds voting in opposition. Bonds also voted against it on second reading, citing faith-based concerns.

Council also Monday night had a public hearing on an ordinance to amend the County Zoning Map for one parcel of land located at 60 Winona Church Road, Donalds, from Forest Agricultural to Restricted Residential. Nobody signed up to speak during this public hearing, either.

Council later in the meeting passed second reading on the ordinance.

Voting in opposition were Council members John Calhoun and Hal Prince.

A public hearing was also held on an ordinance to amend the county road system by annexing KC Ranch Road into the County road system, and, again, no one had signed up to speak during this public comment section.

Council later in the meeting passed second reading on the ordinance.

Also Monday night, Council had first reading on an ordinance providing for the recovery of costs by fees from users of the Corbin Road ground tank.

County Council does not, on first reading of an ordinance, vote on it, but the ordinance is rather read aloud into the record.

In other matters, Council passed 4-3 a resolution for the preservation of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution by Abbeville County Council.

Voting in opposition to the resolution were Charles Goodwin, John Calhoun and Rick Campbell.

Goodwin had wondered, during the discussion before the vote, if County Council had the authority to pass such a resolution, noting that when he and other Council members were elected, they took an oath to support the Constitution.

Bonds indicated that the resolution simply voices support for the Second Amendment to the Constitution, the amendment that provides for the "right to keep and bear arms."

In other matters, Council went into executive session and, upon returning to open session, took no resulting action.

Council also appointed Diane Gillespie to the Board of Zoning Appeals, and reappointed Bryan Baughman to the Board of Code Appeals.

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