Alcohol sales petition to give Whitesburg an option

By: Jerrika Insco Email
By: Jerrika Insco Email

People in one Eastern Kentucky city want to decide for themselves how alcohol sales should be regulated in their community.

A petition is circulating for a local option election.

Organizers hope to get 150 signatures to put an election on the ballot this spring.

It is not a petition for a wet/dry vote. It is a petition to give Whitesburg an option.

"This petition is to just really call an election. And that election will be to decide whether we want to regulate alcohol in Whitesburg or want it to be regulated through the statues of the state like it is now exclusively," said Mark Kidd, the organizer of the petition.

But first signatures are needed to get the election on the ballot.

A few restaurants in downtown Whitesburg have the petition posted for their customers to sign.

"I think it's something that everybody is ready for in Whitesburg and people are kind of expecting actually," said Kidd.

Both those for and against alcohol sales are signing.

"No one is going to push the sales of alcohol. If people want it and ask for it, then it should be available to them," said Josephine Richardson, who owns a restaurant in downtown Whitesburg.

"I don't see how it's going to help anything out myself. The economy is way down and selling alcohol, I just don't see how that would help it out any," said Douglas Sturgill, who is against the petition and alcohol sales.

Either way petition organizers want the city government to decide how to move forward.

"There'll be an exciting time for Whitesburg where we get to talk amongst ourselves about what kind of businesses we like and what we think would be right for us," said Kidd.

The election this spring would enable the city to change the current alcohol sales policy or keep it the same.

Whitesburg's current policy allows only restaurants that seat 100 people and food sales are at least 70 percent of their profit to sell alcohol.

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