Oldham County Chamber hoping for special election to expand alcohol sales
OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) – There are only a few places in all of Oldham County where people can buy packaged alcohol like wine or a case of beer. But with more petitions going out this week, there's a possibility that may soon change.
"I like to keep the business here," said Laurie Murray, who lives in La Grange and shops at All Aboard Liquors.
The shop is one of only a handful of places in the entire county where people can buy packaged alcohol.
"You know, if you're in Oldham County, you should have that opportunity," Murray said. "You shouldn't just have to come to La Grange."
That's why the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development wants residents to have a say on the issue. It's sending out petitions asking voters, "Are you in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages in Oldham County?"
The chamber has already mailed out 31,000 of them.
"We're looking at needing between 5,400 and 5,600, give or take, but we're going for 6,000," said Deana Epperly Karem, executive director of the Oldham Chamber and Economic Development.
The chamber needs to submit between 5,400 and 5,600 signatures to fiscal court in order to have a special election. It has already collected 3,500 and this week will send out 16,000 more petitions in Westport and La Grange.
"They're going north, south, east and west to buy their adult beverages for the weekend, or graduation or memorial day celebrations,” Epperly Karem said. “It would be nice if we could keep those dollars right in Oldham County."
"The culture is not a liquor store here, here, here, here and here," said All Aboard Liquors co-owner Dan Doty.
“And I think the culture of this county is different than Jefferson County, and I'd like to keep it that way," Doty said.
He's against the expansion, saying it's more about preserving the quality of life in the county and less about competition.
"They're going to be on the corner, and they're going to be loud and proud whatever zoning would allow ... so there's some concerns about that,” Doty said. “I'd like people to ask themselves a question, ‘How inconvenient is it now for me to get my liquor, and how much would I sacrifice to save five minutes?'”
But the chamber says that five minutes keeps money in the county and would eventually boost tourism.
"Whether it's a winery on Main Street or a bourbon tasting in Crestwood, it's creating an atmosphere in our community that provides an opportunity to visit as well as do business," Karem said.
If enough signatures are collected, the chamber hopes to have the special election in July or August.
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