This fall's election may present a prime opportunity to increase restaurant revenues on Sundays in Valdosta. The City Council is calling for a referendum on Sunday alcohol sales for restaurants and hotels.
Since reaching metro status, many local restaurants have sent letters asking the council to address the ordinance against Sunday alcohol sales. This Thursday their requests for a public referendum will be considered.
Local restaurants have waited five long years since folks voted not to allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays in Valdosta. Now, thanks to a number of factors, local restaurant owners feel this community is ready to vote again.
John Moon, a restaurant owner, says, "It's not up to the businessmen to say we want it or have to have it. It's up to the community to say they want it."
For many years this city has allowed Sunday alcohol sales, and many restaurant owners in Valdosta feel they are losing valuable revenues to these Remerton restaurants on Sunday.
Restaurant owners say Sunday sales would create jobs as well as improve the city through increased tax revenues. Local officials say placing this referendum on the November ballot will help guarantee significant community feedback.
John Fretti, Mayor of Valdosta, says, "To have this on the presidential ballot is probably the best opportunity for everyone to get in front of it."
Local restaurant owners say just giving folks the option to drink on Sunday will bring in more customers and revenues than the actual sale of alcohol itself.
The council must take action on the referendum after the second reading August 19 in order to have the referendum placed on the ballot.