FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Florence City Council Monday night unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that would allow voters to decide whether to allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays.

If approved, the Florence County Board of Elections would place a referendum on the ballot for the November General Election.

Currently, alcohol cannot be sold on Sundays at retail businesses like convenience stores and grocery stores. City staff members said businesses have complained about having to compete with businesses in surrounding areas like Darlington and Hartsville that allow alcohol to be sold in stores on Sundays.

If passed, the residents would have the opportunity to vote on the sale of beer and wine in retail stories in Florence seven days a week.

Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin, who often speaks on her nursing background, expressed her feelings about the ordinance.

“For me personally I am not in favor of Sunday sales of alcohol,” she said. “What I am in favor of is the citizens of Florence having their right to choose. And that’s the only reason why I would support this.”

Councilman Bryan Braddock followed.

“The only thing that is going to keep them from drinking on Sunday is a daily personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and that’s where I’ve seen people get victory. I don’t think the government, we can do anything to stop it. They can drive down the road. I much rather someone go to a convenience store, get alcohol, take it home, than go to a restaurant or bar, get drunk there, then drive home.”

The city council will vote on the second reading of the ordinance in March.