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Prohibition leaves Union County

October 9, 2010

Erin Grable, Staff Writer

According to the results from the Union County primary election on July 20, in Union County, Blairsville is no longer a dry county. However, because alcohol has yet to be served in restaurants or sold in stores, there have been several discrepancies as to whether or not the law has actually been passed or if it is a rumor.

The law has been passed, meaning alcohol can be distributed and purchased in Union County; however, according to a previous article about alcohol regulations, Union County Commissioner Lamar Paris mentions that even though the law has passed, the buying and selling of alcohol will be inactive until an ordinance is approved.

As of last Thursday, September 21, the new alcohol ordinance was approved.

“The ordinance is approved. Signed, sealed and delivered,” Paris said.

According to Paris, they have issued application packets to any person who has come by the office that is seeking the regulation of alcohol in their business. The stores and restaurants that plan on having alcohol as a product for consumers are: Ingles, the Cycle Resort at Copperhead LLC, Booger Hollow Convenience Store, Mikes Seafood and Market Grill and Wildcat Store in Suches. These businesses have placed ads in the North Georgia News and are awaiting their licenses.

“I lose business to other restaurants that do serve alcohol, especially in the winter time,” said Mike Gurlby from Mikes Seafood and Market Grill. “I am only selling beer because the fees are so high.”

According to Paris, applications will be revised as they come in by the selected five-member Alcohol Board. The members include Robert Head Jr., Reid Dyer (YHC Alumni), Billie Young (works at YHC), Marcus Tuschel and Mike Prive.

After all paper work is done and fees are paid, the examination course will begin. As soon as the pending businesses receive a county or city license it will take around 30 days before the license is valid, because the State Revenue Department must approve it. The anticipated time ranges from a few days to a week or two, but once the completed application and fees are in, it should not surpass two weeks. If all the information is present and there are not any problems with the businesses, such as back taxes, then the businesses will be ‘in business’ with alcohol.

According to Lori Mccreadie, a server at Mikes Seafood, they will be selling beer once they receive approval, which should be in about three weeks.

Locals and tourists alike will have the ability to purchase wine, liquor and beer in Union County, once the businesses receive their license and are authorized to distribute.

“It will take some time, but the ability to distribute alcohol will help the community tremendously as a whole in this economy,” Gurlby said.

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