Sunday alcohol sales go down in 2-2 vote by the fiscal court
Sep 18, 2013 | 5002 views | 0 0 comments | 274 274 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sunday alcohol sales by the drink went down in Lyon County Fiscal Court on Thursday. Following a 33-minute debate between proponents and opponents, the court deadlocked on the issue.

On a motion by Magistrate Buddy Nichols, seconded by Magistrate Charles Ferguson, the court voted two for and two against. Nichols and Ferguson voted yes, and Magistrate Steve Cruce and Judge-Executive Wade White dissented. A tie vote means the motion failed.

“I think we need to give the Lord one day a week and let this alcohol lay still,” said Don McKinney.

The Rev. Carl Nelson said the county’s original ordinance should stand. “I feel like Sunday should be protected from alcohol sales and other things that might hinder free worship,” he said, and asked the county to “leave things as they are.”

Bob Harbison, owner of Eddy Creek Marina Resort, told the court that the “majority of the citizens of this county voted for alcohol.”

“Contrary to what various religious leaders have said, the majority of this county finally used its own free will not guided by other people’s wishes and voted for alcohol,” Harbison said. “This county needs the revenue being generated by alcohol. ... If we want to prosper and continue to grow as many of our neighboring counties have, then we need to move into an era that allows increased tourism in this county. That’s all we have right now. We’ve been a dismal failure in attracting businesses to help us grow. Tourism is where we have to lie.”

White disagreed that the county had failed in attracting businesses other than tourism.

“There are other things going on in Lyon County besides tourism,” he said, noting that he didn’t remember Sunday sales being a part of the wet-dry vote in January. White added that he supports tourism.

The Rev. Rick Reeder and others, also spoke against allowing Sunday sales. Reeder cited two national companies that don’t open on Sunday and are successful.

Harbison reminded the court that it was the county’s citizens who voted to end prohibition, not the court.

Three members of the Daniel family — Jim, Jamie and Marcia — spoke on behalf of Sunday sales.

Jim Daniel asked that Kuttawa restaurants be allowed to be equal to those in Eddyville. The city of Eddyville, a 4th Class city, has voted for Sunday sales, he said. Kuttawa is a 5th Class city, meaning it cannot vote in Sunday sales.

Marcia Daniel said patrons at her restaurant are accustomed to Sunday sales in Paducah.

“We are competing with Paducah,” she said. “... People who come here think we can sell on Sunday. ... I think we need the ability to provide our customers what they want when they come in to eat with us.”

Both Marcia and Jamie Daniel said alcohol amounts to less than 18 percent of their total sales. “Without that 18-percent in alcohol sales there is no way we could stay in business,” Jamie said.

In other business the court:

n Authorized White to sign a contract with FastNet to provide broadband Internet to unserved and under served areas of the county. Mike Calvin, network operations manager, said the service will cost $34.95 per month with a one-time installation fee of $99.

Customers may phone 855-889-FAST to sign up.

n Heard a request from a citizen asking that funds cut from Lee S. Jones Park be restored and spent to build a sidewalk wide enough for handicapped users of the walking area. He said the sidewalk had been proposed but was not built.

White said the sidewalk would cost $4,500, and moved to spend the money from the general fund to build it. Ferguson seconded his motion, and it passed unanimously.

n Learned the county’s Mack truck, which cost $118,000, sold for $140,000 after a year’s use. Considering interest payments, the county netted about $10,000 profit, said road foreman Tommy Melton.

n Voted to continue health insurance coverage for county employees with the Kentucky Association of Counties. Coverage will remain the same.

n Approved rural secondary road program funds for a bridge on Bennett Jones Road.

n Appointed Jim Dunning to the 2nd District Fire Board; Tony Ramey to succeed Anzie Hooks on the Planning & Zoning Commission; and Tony Ellis to the water district board.

n Declined to pay an $8,153 claim from Freedom Waste pending further negotiations.

n Took no action following and executive session called to discuss pending litigation and an employee issue.
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