Voters in Shelby County to decide Tuesday whether to expand alcohol sales
Supporters say it will boost tourism, although some are concerned about the downside.
SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Voters in Shelby County will decide Tuesday whether to expand alcohol sales.
If the vote passes, alcohol would be more available in rural Shelby County, including Simpsonville.
Charlie Metzger has owned and operated Metzger's Country store in Simpsonville for 12 years, where he sells food for animals, but not humans, and he admits he's torn about Tuesday’s alcohol vote.
“I have real mixed emotions, I'll be honest with you,” Metzger said.
The city of Shelbyville is already wet. The rest of Shelby County, including Simpsonville, is what's called "moist." Alcohol sales are allowed by the glass in most restaurants.
The vote Tuesday is to allow package sales in stores.
“All we're doing is trying to increase that competitive economic edge, so that the county stays competitive with the city and all the other surrounding counties,” said Shelby Co. Judge Executive Rob Rothenburger.
Rothenburger wants to make Shelby County part of the Bourbon Trail. He points to the Diageio Bulleit distillery under construction in rural Shelby County.
If it could sell bourbon as well as make it, he believes the tourists would come.
“We estimate that it could very easily be over 100,000 visitors to the Bulleit Distillery,” Rothenburger said.
Metzger knows expanded alcohol sales will probably help Simpsonville's economy.
“I think it would help tourism here because we have such a large imprint on the horse industry in this county,” Metzger said.
But he's also concerned about the possible downside.
“Is it going to bring in bad things or bad people? You have to balance out money versus the morality.”
It's a balance that voters across the county must weigh.
“One way or the other, we're still going to be a great county,” Metzger said.
Polls are open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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