People circulating for possible wet dry vote in Louisa

LOUISA, Ky. (WYMT/WSAZ) - Wet-dry votes across our region have stirred a debate focused on morals and money.

Grayson and parts of Ashland voted to either allow or expand alcohol sales. But in Greenup County, they voted against it and it remains a dry county.

Now, Louisa could become the next local town to take the issue to ballot.

"It's incredibly frustrating if you want to go out and have a really nice meal, you're looking at an hour driving each way," Violet Trout said.

She led a similar push to allow alcohol sales two years ago, to no avail. Trout says she just wants to see the community grow, and one way to do that is making Louisa wet.

The whole push for a wet-dry vote is being led by Gene Wilson.

He owns several businesses in Louisa, including the Best Western along U.S. 23. He says if it passes, he wants to see a restaurant go in -- maybe something like an Applebee's -- right next door.

He says not only will it bring folks to the Louisa area, but will create new tax revenue without adding to the tax burden of people who live and work here. But not everyone is so sure.

"We need the jobs, but we don't need any more bad things happening," Darlas Kazee said.

For Kazee, the idea of alcohol sales coming to her community puts her on edge.

"What would you worry about if they passed something like that?" asked Kazee. "Well, young boys getting killed. All kinds of people getting killed. No good ever came out of alcohol, I don't think."

But Trout says the problems other towns have seen with alcohol won't happen here.

"We can do going wet with dignity," Trout said. "We're not talking about creating taverns and bars and lowlife places that some of the community fears. We're talking about having good restaurants."

Either way, this debate is just beginning.

Supporters are collecting signatures on petitions located at several locations, including City Hall, Best Western and Progressions Health and Beauty. Some folks are also taking the petitions door to door.

They need several hundred signatures in order to hold a special election on the issue.

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