SMITHFIELD, N.C. -- Businesses in unincorporated Johnston County are waiting to hear what county commissioners will do about the Sunday alcohol sales ordinance.

  • Decision would affect unincorporated areas of Johnston County.
  • Clayton and Smithfield already allow alcohol sales on Sunday morning.
  • Commissioners will discuss the issue again in August.

House Bill 155, which passed in June 2017, allows municipalities and local governments to make their own decision on whether to extend the hours people can purchase liquor or beer as early as 10 a.m. on Sundays. 

Rev. Mark Creech with the Christian Action League says he was the main opposer of the bill when it passed through the General Assembly. As a Johnston County Resident, Creech now hopes his local elected officials don't make the same decision to move forward with the bill. 

"Business interest will drive the debate, but the public safety, and minimizing the harms issue and those very important things, which really ought to take precedence, get put on the back burner," Creech said. 

Commissioners have already began to express interest in seeing this change to come to fruition, mainly for economic benefits, and for the ease for the residents of Johnston County. Since Wake County and the cities of Clayton and Smithfield all passed the ordinance change, Johnston County chairman Jeff Carver says it's important to stay competitive.

"Why should I burden our retailers when they can just go five miles up the road?" Carver said. 

Carver says the commissioners will plan to meet again all together in August and put up a motion to vote. 

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