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Darlington County residents reject new courthouse, approve Sunday alcohol sales

November 8, 2018

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Darlington County voters rejected a penny sales tax for a new courthouse Tuesday while saying yes to Sunday alcohol sales in the outlying county.

Darlington County residents were asked to vote on a proposed countywide one-cent sales tax to fund a $20 million general obligation bond to pay for a new judicial center and government administration building – either in a single facility or two – and either through new construction or renovation to the existing courthouse.

The vote was 52.5 percent no.

The Darlington County Council had been considering what to do about the aging courthouse in downtown Darlington for some time and voted earlier this year to put the issue on the November ballot.

Construction started on the existing courthouse in 1963, and the building opened its doors in 1965. It is showing its age and is in significant disrepair.

The county can approach voters again in two years.

Sunday alcohol sales passes

The Sunday alcohol sales passed with a 57 percent yes vote and mirrored what two cities have already accomplished.

County residents were asked to vote on whether to allow Sunday alcohol sales in the unincorporated areas of Darlington County.

The measure will allow Sunday alcohol sales by businesses such as grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants and bars that normally sell alcohol during the week operating in the unincorporated areas of Darlington County.

Liquor stores will not be able to sell on Sunday, however. They are regulated by the state.

The cities of Hartsville and Darlington already allow Sunday sales of beer and wine and liquor by the drink in their jurisdictions.

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