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Cumming resurfaces “brunch bill” that would allow earlier Sunday alcohol sales
FCN Brunch Bill
Photo by Jens Theeß on Unsplash

City of Cumming voters could get to decide this November whether to allow restaurants, hotels and motels to serve alcohol earlier on Sundays.

The City Council, with Councilman Chad Crane absent, was presented at Tuesday’s work session with a resolution that, if approved, would allow for a referendum on the Nov. 5 ballot to let voters decide whether to move the time alcohol can be served within the city limits on Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 11 a.m.

The council took no action, but it resurfaces an issue that caused some confusion last year after then-Gov. Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 17, often referred to as the “brunch bill,” which amended state law and gave voters in municipalities the ability to decide whether to adjust the time of Sunday alcohol sales.

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners voted to put the bill to a referendum in last November’s election. It passed and allowed for the earlier sale of alcohol on Sundays in businesses in unincorporated parts of the county except for those where it could be purchased by the package, such as grocery stores or gas stations.

The Cumming City Council didn’t put the bill to a referendum. At the time, Mayor Troy Brumbalow cited a lack of interest from city officials and time constraints that would have required the Council to call a special meeting for a vote on the matter.

That led to the county’s referendum appearing on city ballots.

Brumbalow said last July that the bill could come back. If it does this time and voters approve the referendum, the city already has an ordinance drafted to put it into immediate effect, according to Cumming City Attorney Kevin Tallant.