Oldham County looking at initiative to expand alcohol sales
OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- There's a new effort in Oldham County to get expanded alcohol sales on the special election ballot in March of 2015.
"Oldham County overall is a limited alcohol sales county," said Executive Director of Oldham Chamber and Economic Development, Deana Epperly Karem.
We spoke with her near a vacant lot in Crestwood, which is also the future site of a Walmart.
"And it will not have the ability to sell alcohol, beer, packaged beer sales at all, as the law stands today,” said Epperly Karem.
That's why the chamber is behind a new idea to expand packaged alcohol sales throughout the county.
There are currently no traditional bars in Oldham County, only places you can get a drink inside a restaurant.
The chamber says this initiative isn't about adding bars, it's about giving people more options.
If you wanted to pick up a bottle of wine after work or a case of beer for the weekend. “All Aboard Liquors” in Lagrange is one of only three places in the entire county where it's currently allowed. The other two are Kroger and Walgreens.
"I think the folks in Oldham County need to look at the convenience factor," said Dan Doty who owns All Aboard Liquors.
He opened his store last year in Lagrange and said he chose a layout that wouldn't look flashy or draw attention.
"We set it back, we use neutral colors,” said Doty. “If you get 15 to 20 applicants licensed in Oldham County, don't you think alcohol will be visible to minors and our underage folks?"
Doty says with more potential licenses being issued in the county, it could create more problems.
"I would say that a 10-year-old that drove by our store never seen it, don't even know it's there, and that's the reason we did it. It's a poor business model, but it's discrete and folks are learning that it is there," said Doty.
Lagrange collects a five percent fee on liquor sales. Roughly $200,000 to $300,000 a year is brought in which the chamber says goes directly to public safety.
If this initiative passes, a similar fee would be issued county-wide.
"So it's no money lost, it's only money gained and it creates new opportunities for the police department," said Epperly Karem.
A move, she says, that could bring in big bucks and encourage more people to buy local.
"That money is going to Louisville and outside Oldham County anyway this is money and disposable income that people are spending,” she said. “We'd just like for them to spend it in Oldham County."
The chamber will start collecting signatures this fall for a possible special election in the spring.
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