Knott Co. to stay dry

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

Knott County voters decided they wanted their neck of the woods to stay dry. Voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposal that would have allowed alcohol sales in the county.

People who were equally as passionate on both sides about alcohol sales but in the end, most people wanted things to stay the same.

Knott County officials said more people cast their ballots in this special wet-dry election than in the general election in November of 2011 when statewide offices were up for grabs.

“The last turn out we had in 2011 general election was around 22.9 percent so this was much greater,” said Ken Gayheart, Knott County Clerk.

Gayheart said there are 11,745 registered voters in Knott County and 3,969 came out to vote in the special election. Many were not afraid to share their opinion on the results.

“The tax money would give the county more revenue to work with. all these county vehicles would not be parked, they could do more work on the county roads and it just don't make any sense to me not passing,” said Randall Everidge who voted in favor of alcohol sales.

Many who said they wanted to have the sales used the economic stimulus argument.

“It does endanger a lot of people's lives, drinking and driving can cause accidents on the roads,” said Chanda Yonts, who was against the sales of alcohol.

The sheriff said he will back the people's decision, but said they will still deal with problems related to alcohol.

“They are going to get it regardless whether it is here in Knott County or outside of the county,” said Sheriff Dale Richardson.
“I just hope that those who are of age do so in a responsible manner because we do not need any innocent people getting hurt, but of course that happens regardless of whether or not we are a dry county.”

Five of the county's 30 precincts had those in favor winning the majority. The Knott County Judge Executive has said the special election will cost the county at least $25,000.

Knott County joins Rockcastle county, Barbourville and London voters who rejected alcohol sales this year. Corbin voters approved them and Williamsburg voters agreed to allow restaurants to sell it. There will be a wet-dry vote in Whitesburg and Pineville on June 26.

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