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City council OKs liquor sales referendums
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SPRINGFIELD — Voters will soon have a chance to determine if new revenue streams will flow for the City of Springfield. 

During its regularly scheduled Aug. 10 meeting, the Springfield City Council unanimously approved a resolution to initiate a series of Nov. 2 voter referendums. They include:

— Shall the governing authority of the City of Springfield, Georgia, be authorized to permit and regulate Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages for beverage purposes by the drink?

— Shall the governing authority of the City of Springfield, Georgia, be authorized to permit and regular package sales by retailers of both malt beverages and wine on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.?

— Shall the issuance of licenses for the package sale of distilled spirits be approved?

Earlier, the council spent more than 20 minutes debating an agreement with Blue Line Solutions for the use of Auto Speed Enforcement Technology (ASET) systems near Springfield Elementary School. ASETs identify vehicles and capture their speed through the use of a laser beam.

Councilman Kenny Usher voiced resistance to the proposal, saying he prefers a “live” speed enforcement presence. He also wondered aloud how many “near misses” involving vehicles and students are occurring at the school because of speeding.

Chief Paul Wynn of the Springfield Police Department replied, “There is a lot of traffic out there. All it takes is one (accident).”

Blue Line Solutions touts ASET speed calculating ability as 100 percent accurate. ASETs are equipped with cameras that take pictures of license plates, allowing Blue Solutions to determine the owner of violating vehicles so that tickets can be mailed to them. The license plate readers can also alert the police when registered sex offenders are near schools or assist in Amber alerts.

Violators will receive a warning during the first six weeks after the ASET installation. Fines, to be split with the City of Springfield, will be issued after the grace period ends.

In other action, the council voted to annex Effingham County Parcel 429-6 (288 Rahn Station Road) and Effingham County Parcel 429-6A (Ga. Hwy 21 South). Love’s Travel Stops, owner of the properties, petitioned for the move. Mayor Bart Alderman recused himself from the votes. He is the previous owner of the tracts.