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Alcohol sales referendum closer to November vote

A referendum concerning alcoholic beverage sales within Walterboro’s city limits tentatively scheduled to be put on the November 6 General Election came a step closer to reality at the June 10 Walterboro City Council meeting.

The wording of the proposed would be on the ballot in two separate sections. The first would read, “Shall the South Carolina department of Revenue be authorized to issue temporary permits in the City of Walterboro for a period not to exceed 24 hours to allow the possession, sale, and consumption of alcoholic liquors by the drink to bona fide nonprofit organizations and business establishments authorized to be licensed for consumption-on-premises sales and to allow the sale of beer and wine at permitted off-premises locations without regard to the days or hours of sales?”

Section two would read, “Should the City of Walterboro Election Commission certify to the City Council of the City of Walterboro that the question has been answered in the affirmative in a majority of the votes cast on said question in the referendum, then such sales shall be allowed, as permitted by state law, within the city limits of the City of Walterboro, from and after December 1, 2012, without further action of City Council.”

On other business:

–First reading passed on an amendment to clarify and strengthen the city’s noise ordinance. Under Chapter 20, section 20-218. Variances, the amendment would read:

(1.) “Application for permission to hold an event which may violate the provisions of this article shall be made to the City Manager or the designee of the City Manager.”

a. “Such permission, if granted shall be valid only at the specific location, times (no later than 11 p.m. and no earlier than 7:00 p.m.), dates and upon the conditions as specified by the City Manager or the designee of the City manager.”

b. “Notice of a pending application for a variance to the Noise Ordinance shall be posted on the property affected, with at least one such notice being visible from each public thoroughfare that abuts the property, at least 10 days prior to the issuance of the variance.”

(2.) “Public or private venues in which events may be held may apply for a blanket variance under the conditions outlined above. Provided, however, that the City Manager may amend or withdraw the blanket variance as deemed appropriate to protect the public peace.”

–The Walterboro Tourism Commission was named to remain the designated marketing organization for the City of Walterboro’s fiscal year of 2012-2013.

The procedure was done after a June 21 meeting of the city’s Accommodations Tax Advisory Board at which the committee approved a request for funding for the 30% ATAX Fund and the 65% Tourism fund.

30% Tourism Fund requests: Walterboro Tourism Commission requested $53,000 and received $53,000; Walterboro-Colleton Chamber of Commerce requested $53,000 and received no funding.

65% Tourism Fund requests: Colleton Museum and Farmers Market requested $3,000 and received $2,500; Wings & Wheels-WTC requested $6,000 and received $2,500; Walterboro Exit 53 Merchants’ Association requested $6,000 and received $6,000; The South Carolina Artisans Center’s Antiques, History, and Arts Festival requested $8,500 and received $5,000; the Colleton County Historical & Preservation Society requested $8,620 and received $2,500; Lowcountry & Resort Island Tourism Commission requested $12,500 and received $7,000; Colleton County Rice Festival requested $15,000 and received $8,000; City of Walterboro Billboard program requested $20,000 and received $20,000; 2013 Downtown Walterboro Criterium bike race requested $21,000 and received $15,000; Walterboro Rocks Advertising Campaign requested $49,000 and received $38,000; Walterboro/Colleton Chamber of Commerce Our Town Mobile App. Requested $18,000 and received no funding.

–Council accepted the resignation of Thomas Angell from the city’s Municipal Planning Commission.

–Council went into executive session to discuss negotiations related to a contractual arrangement, but no action was taken.