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County may hold vote on Sunday alcohol sales
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Dawson County residents likely will have the opportunity in March to decide whether stores should be allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays.

County commissioners will take up the matter during their meeting Thursday night.

Commission Chair Mike Berg said he is in favor of giving voters the chance to weigh Sunday package sales during the first scheduled election of 2012, the March 6 presidential preference primary.

Last week, Berg suggested the commission consider both the sale of package alcohol sales and the sale of distilled spirits in restaurants on Sundays.

Currently, restaurants in the unincorporated areas of the county can serve only beer and wine on Sundays.

Earlier this month, Dawsonville residents overwhelmingly approved Sunday package sales for stores in the city by a nearly 63 percent to 37 percent margin.

Voters in the nearby cities of Flowery Branch, Gainesville and Oakwood have also approved Sunday sales.

Dawson County officials have said the estimated $15,000 cost to hold an election was one reason to delay the referendum until 2012, when there are several already scheduled.

Printing the ballots would be the only additional cost associated with the Sunday sales vote, Berg said.

Elections are also scheduled in July, September and November, with runoffs to take place in April, August and December, if needed.

Russ Marcotte, who owns City Package in downtown Dawsonville, said customers were waiting at the door Nov. 20, when he opened for the first time on a Sunday.

Most of the counties that border Dawson - Forsyth, Hall, Lumpkin and Pickens - have not yet held a referendum on the issue.

Hall voters will decide March 6 on whether to allow package sales and liquor by the drink on Sundays.

The county commission's meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday in the G.L. Pete Gilleland Chambers at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex.