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A split Marion County Fiscal Court voted 3-2 in favor of the first reading of an ordinance that would allow Sunday alcohol sales in the county and allow alcohol sales until 1 a.m.
Magistrates Larry Caldwell, John Arthur Elder III and Steve Masterson voted in favor of the ordinance. Magistrates Roger "Cotton" Smothers and Jackie Wicker voted against the ordinance.
The City of Lebanon recently approved an ordinance expanding the allowable Sunday alcohol sales to include packaged liquor and beer sales. That ordinance also expanded the hours that alcohol sales are allowed from midnight to 1 a.m. in the city limits.
The fiscal court was asked during its July 16 meeting to consider revising its ordinance to mirror the city's ordinance.
The ordinance approved for its first reading Thursday, Aug. 6, is similar to the city's ordinance. As written, the revised county ordinance would allow alcohol sales between 6 a.m. Monday to Saturday through 1 a.m. the following morning. The ordinance would also allow alcohol sales on from noon Sundays until 1 a.m. Monday morning.
Before the ordinance could be considered official, however, the fiscal court would have to approve a second reading and publish the ordinance officially. The fiscal court's next regularly scheduled meeting is at 4 p.m. Aug. 20.
Even if the ordinance is approved, it would not affect precincts that have voted to be dry.