Alcohol license requests begin to roll in

The ball has begun rolling since residents of Barbourville voted to allow the sale of alcohol Dec. 29; however, it is rolling slowly at this point.

The City of Barbourville will have its plate full over the next few months, meeting with the Alcohol Beverage Control Board, creating ordinances to regulate the sale of alcohol, and figuring out how to spend the revenues from the inevitable sales of alcohol.

As a Class 4 city, Barbourville is legally allowed to have one package liquor store within the city limits. However, according to Mayor David Thompson, the ABC allows for two packaged liquor stores in order to keep one from monopolizing the business.

Currently, the Fast Lane Discount Tobacco Outlet at the Parkway Plaza in Barbourville is the first business to advertise its intent to apply for an NQ Retail Malt Beverage Package (beer) license. According to Mayor Thompson, several other local business owners have also expressed an interest in applying for alcohol licenses.

“We’re still a long way from selling the first beer in this town,” said Mayor Thompson. “We’re looking at no less than 60 days, and it could be as much as six months. There are still a lot of questions to be asked and answered, both by the city council and by the city administration.”

Two questions loom over the city’s administration as it prepares to put ordinances together to regulate alcohol sales.

The first is whether or not a package store will be allowed to open within a certain distance of a school. The other is whether or not Barbourville will allow Sunday sales.

“We’re looking at all of our options,” said Mayor Thompson. “We’ve already requested the ordinances for Corbin, Manchester, and Calvert City (the newest city to go wet), so we can review them and make comparisons.”

The city administrators plan to meet with the ABC Board sometime in the middle of January to ask the pertinent questions. Mayor Thompson already knows what his first question will be to the ABC Board. “What does the city do next?”

“Right now it’s important that we discuss the process with ABC so that we can find out where do we go, what do we do and who does what,” said the mayor. ““We simply don’t have the answers to anyone’s questions yet, because we have not met as an administrative body with the ABC. Once we do, we’ll begin to start putting the pieces together.”