Both mayors of Adairville and Auburn were surprised at the margin of votes received that passed the sale of alcohol in their respective cities. Each felt it would be a closer race. The local option election was held Tuesday, Jan. 17 in each city to decide if alcoholic beverages could be sold in the city limits of Adairville and Auburn. Total votes yes for Adairville fell at 108 with 34 no. Total votes yes for Auburn fell at 166 with 83 no.
“I really didn’t think it would be that much of a gap. I thought it would have been a closer election,” said Auburn Mayor Mike Hughes.
Adariville Mayor Donna Blake agreed. “I was overwhelmed it being that big of a difference,” said Blake.
The mayors agree the election came with mixed emotions by many in their communities. But both also agree the decision to drink is a personal one, and if people are going to purchase alcohol anyway, why shouldn’t the cities receive the revenue.
“People have to make a personal decision and vote they way they feel is right for them,” said Hughes. “The advantage for Auburn is another tool for economic development for our community. We will see a benefit down the road.”
Mayor Blake has already been in contact with a gentleman who has shown interest in returning home to Adairville and opening a distillery. The only way he would consider this venture would be if Adairville were wet.
“He was ecstatic,” said Blake. “He will now be able to move on his plans.”
Blake said the decision could be an economic boost for Adairville.
“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?” said Blake.
Money generated to the cities from the sale of alcohol has to be spent in specific areas such as law enforcement. Blake said that would free up other funding to use to better the city.
Right now both cities have 60 days to pass ordinances. They have been directed by the Kentucky Department of Alcohol Beverage Control of statutes they need to familiarize themselves with. Both say it is early in the game and information will be sought after to know how to proceed.
“The way I understand it, we have a lot of flexibility as a city council to determine a few things around the sale of alcohol in the city,” said mayor Hughes. “As it stands now, none of us have enough information about it at this time. We are gathering that data as we speak. We have 60 days from now to have everything in place.” The ordinances will spell out when and where sales can occurs.
The City of Adairville currently has a BP and the City of Auburn has a Minit Mart. Both mayors feel these business will most likely file for licensure to sell alcohol.
Adairville’s Precinct B 101 brought in 31 yes votes and 15 no votes. Precinct B 102 held 77 yes votes and 19 no votes. Auburn’s Precinct E 102 came in at 75 yes votes and 35 no votes and Precinct E 103 showed 91 yes votes and 48 no votes.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.