Make no mistake about it, the alcohol vote is for full-blown, all-out alcohol sales in the form of package liquor stores, beer sales in convenient and grocery stores, and plain ol’ bars. Yes, if approved, we can have bars around the square and up and down Knox Street. This is not a vote to have a drink with your meal in a “nice” restaurant. State laws dictate that due to our population we are allowed one (1) package liquor store. However, in the spirit of competition, the state will allow Barbourville to have two (2) stores. When Corbin voted “moist” they predicted many “nice” “name brand” restaurants would open there. So far they have one, Applebee’s. The rest are not much more than a bar that serves light menus. If you doubt this, just drop by any of them, even Applebee’s, in the middle of the afternoon and take a look around. There will be anywhere from 2 to 12 folks sitting around the bar nursing a drink.
The “yes” signs say “it’s about jobs, revenue and progress. Jobs? The only new businesses will be the two package liquor stores. How many jobs will this produce? Maybe 5 or 6? All the other stores can handle their beer sales with existing clerks. Liquor will not entice industry to locate here. I doubt if any new businesses in the Tri-County Industrial Park came here as a result of Corbin’s liquor availability. They were looking for tax incentives, land and work force. Revenue? By law, all the tax revenue must be allocated to law enforcement for the increased problems associated with more alcohol consumption (DUI’s, bar fights, public drunkenness, etc). Progress? If this is progress, I believe we can do without it.
Some say legal alcohol sales will eliminate bootleggers. I hear bootleggers have already expanded their menu to include marijuana, pills and other drugs. They will always be with us.
If you decide to stay home and let someone else make this decision, the yes votes will probably win. Everyone should make the effort to let their voice be heard.