Council slated to vote on allowing earlier sales of alcohol on Sundays

Published 5:49 pm Thursday, August 10, 2017

The sale of alcoholic beverages in Washington beginning at 10 a.m. Sundays could take effect Aug. 20 if two-thirds — a super majority — of the Washington City Council members, during their meeting Monday, amend the city code to allow such sales.

If that super-majority vote does not occur Monday and the proposed amendment is not defeated, it would take a simple majority vote by the council at its next meeting to allow such sales, according to a memorandum from City Manager Bobby Roberson to the mayor and council members

Roberson will make a presentation on the new law that allows such sales of malt beverages, fortified wine, unfortified wine and mixed drinks to the council Monday.

The Washington Tourism Development Authority’s board of directors voted unanimously to support the new law, known as the “brunch bill.” “The tourism industry as a whole in North Carolina has supported this legislation. Locally, the WTDA board felt it would be beneficial. The sale of alcohol earlier on a Sunday will benefit restaurants that are open earlier than noon,” wrote Lynn Wingate, the city’s tourism-development director, in a letter to Mayor Mac Hodges.

The directors of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce unanimously support the new law. “The board felt it made economic sense for our local businesses that could benefit from sales starting at 10:00 a.m. As a pro business organization, it is our mission to support legislation that can increase sales or opportunities for local establishments,” wrote Catherine Glover, the chamber’s executive director, in a letter to the mayor and council members.

Since the new law took effect earlier this summer, several municipalities such as Chocowinity, New Bern, Surf City and Charlotte now allow such sales. The law also applies to counties. Last month, Hyde County began allowing earlier sales of alcoholic beverages on Sundays.

The law does not put these sales into practice directly, but rather gives individual municipalities the power to vote and adopt a measure if they choose.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St. To view the council’s agenda for a specific meeting, visit the city’s web­site at, click “City Agendas.” Locate the appropriate agenda (by date) under the “Washington City Council” heading, then click on that specific agenda listing.






About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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