In four days citizens of Adairville and Auburn will have a chance to vote during a special election which will decide if these cities will become wet or stay dry.
On Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, there will be a local option election held at the schools in each city from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. The only thing to appear on the ballot will be a decision allow the sale of alcohol in the city limits. Only residents that live within the city limits of Adairville and Auburn will be allowed to vote.
Former Auburn Councilman Barry Bilyeu filed with the Logan County Clerk on Nov. 4 and Adairville Mayor Donna Blake on Oct. 4 a petition to hold the special elections in their cities regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages.
Blake claims it is a matter of economic development and if citizens in Adairville are going to travel out of the city to purchase alcohol, why not keep their money local to help their city. Blake said with the funds generated through taxes the city could increase police protection and other services. Also, the vote could bring in additional businesses.
“We were approached by an individual who has deep family roots here in Adairville. He wants to return home to our city and open a distillery. The only way he would consider this venture would be if Adairville were wet,” said Blake. “This could be an economic boost for us. I am not the one who makes the decision for people if they choose to drink or not, but if they do, why should they go out of our city to do so when we could keep those dollars here in our community?”
The special elections do not come cheap. Logan County will have to pay between $4,000 and $5,000 for each election. There is current legislation in Frankfort, that if passed, would require those who request a special election by petition to pay for a percentage of it themselves. However, this has been on the agenda for two years and still has not passed.
Currently alcohol can only be sold in Logan County within the city limits of Russellville and at a small vineyard in Auburn.
The election will be handled just like any other election, said Logan County Clerk Scotty Harper.
“I think this decision will give Auburn the opportunity to bring in more businesses, as well as revamp our existing business,” said Bilyeu. “Citizens who wish to purchase alcohol won’t have to travel to Bowling Green or Russellville to do it. It could also allow our city to grow and possibly expand the city limits some day.”
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