Whitesburg voters accept expanded alcohol sales

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

In the end 229 to 102 voters in Whitesburg said they wanted to make it easier for restaurants and possibly other businesses in their town to sell alcohol.

The vote passed with just over two thirds of the people saying they were in favor. Officials said there was not a lot of public opposition. A couple of people who were against expanding sales said they did not want to go on camera.

“I did not see any organized opposition, I'm sure obviously there was some opposition but I think it was more individualized,” said Mayor James Wiley Craft.

“You get mixed emotions about it, but one of the things it will help is tourism here in the county,” said Letcher County Judge Executive Jim Ward.
“You kind of have to look at both sides of what it can do and what it will do.”

The mayor publicly supported expanding alcohol sales.

“Elated is the word,” said Craft.
“I am very happy.”

Supporters said they hoped this will mean good things for the city's economy.

“Anybody who is going to purchase an alcoholic beverage is going to travel to out of the city or out of the state,” said DJ Frazier who voted yes.
“Here in Letcher County we are on the Virginia line so in these hard economic times I think that it would mean good things for the city to have that extra revenue coming in.”

The mayor said this could extend beyond by-the-drink alcohol sales.

“The other is to authorize the city council, if they choose, to establish some kind of outlet store,” said Craft.

The mayor said it will be a little while before this becomes official because the city council will have to approve it within 60 days.

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