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Ohio, Marshall Counties Take ‘Brunch Bill’

Residents in Ohio and Marshall counties deserve a drink after this election.

With approval of the so-called “brunch bill,” alcoholic beverages can now be sold starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays in both counties. Earlier this year, the West Virginia Legislature passed a bill allowing counties to permit, by referendum, earlier Sunday sales by businesses with Alcoholic Beverage Control Administration Class “A” licenses may conduct such sales.

The prior sale time was 1 p.m.

Ohio County residents overwhelmingly approved the measure, with 12,913 in favor versus 5,126 against, according to unofficial totals. Marshall County approved the measure by a slightly slimmer margin, at 6,972 to 4,961.

Ohio County will follow the city of Wheeling in this action, as the city approved 10 a.m. Sunday sales through an amendment of its home rule charter in October.

Advocates saw the bill as a way to promote restaurants and the state’s budding tourism industry, offering an amenity many visitors expect. The expected economic impact on the state is undetermined in totality, although a study from West Virginia University predicts an annual increase of $876,000 for businesses in Kanawha County.

Ohio County Commission President Tim McCormick said he believes it will have a positive impact in the area, and that the voters made a clear call with such margins.

“It’s obvious with the overwhelming support, people decided where they wanted to go,” McCormick said.

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