ABC officials come to clear misconceptions about upcoming wet/dry vote in Barbourville

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

ABC officials and the city mayor said that they just want the public to be able to make up their minds with the facts after rumors and misconceptions have been circulating.

“There have been a lot of misconceptions about what a wet/dry vote would mean,” said Tony Dehner the Commissioner of the ABC of Kentucky.

“Many voters have had the question, ‘what am I voting for when I vote wet?’” said Barbourville Mayor David Thompson.

Thompson said after requests from the public, he had officials come in to address concerns on a big decision for the city

“We are totally neutral, we are just down here to give them the facts if they do vote to go wet,” said Dehner.

This meeting comes after a rally was held in downtown Barbourville with a lot of people who were very much against the sales of alcohol. Over 600 people lined up in front of the courthouse to hear a speech from Don Cole of the Kentucky League on Alcohol and Gambling Problems.

Those opposed have set up yard signs and been outright with their opinion, but Thompson said that those who are for the sales of alcohol may not be as up front with where they stand.

“I have not seen any for signs in yards,” said Thompson.
“Whether they are just waiting to make there decision when they go, I am not sure, there is just not a lot of talk about it from that side.”

“We have found that there has been a lot of misinformation given out by a lot of different people in these public forums and that is what we are here to correct,” said Dehner.

Barbourville is listed as a 4th class city which means they are not able to get a liquor drink license, where liquor can be bought and consumed on the premises. Thompson said he cannot predict the outcome, but he wants the citizens to know exactly what they are voting for.

“I was out eating at a restaurant and somebody told me ‘I have not made a decision yet I will make that decision when I go,’ I have heard that several places,” said Thompson.

“I think it is just up in the air,” he added.

The vote will take place on Feb. 7 and absentee machines were opened on Jan. 20. If the vote passes, it will take at least sixty days for the city to become wet.

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