Hardin residents push for vote on expanding alcohol sales

Published: Feb. 10, 2011 at 10:57 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 11, 2011 at 12:55 AM EST
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By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Alcohol -- and the issues surrounding it -- have divided a county. Hardin residents have debating the issue for years. Some areas of the county are living with a compromise and are "moist." That means only certain restaurants can serve alcohol, and it's not sold packaged. Now tourism and business groups want to let the voters decide.

"I think it's time," said Hardin resident Margaret Carter.

While she was getting lunch ready at the Old Vault Deli in Elizabethtown she said she wants to keep the money in the county.

"I think the revenue from the taxes, it should go to Hardin County instead of the other counties that boarder us that already get our taxes for it," said Carter.

Another customer, Oze McCallum, visiting from Atlanta couldn't understand why Hardin doesn't allow residents to buy alcohol in stores.

"If you're drinking in the restaurant then you're getting in the car and driving and causing more problems than if you just go ahead an buy it in the package," said McCallum.

A group of economic development organizations have joined together to form Yes for Economic Success.

"Our petition for expanded alcohol sales in Radcliff, Elizabethtown and Vine Grove is about allowing the residents in those communities the opportunity to vote on whether they want expanded alcohol sales," said Brad Richardson Executive Director of the North Hardin Economic Development Authority

YES need to get 25 percent of the people who voted in the last election to sign the petition. That's about 3500 signatures from the three areas total by August 8th.

Proponents say more business will want to open in those areas.

"More opportunities for restaurants, smaller restaurants can actually be established here," said Richardson. "More entertainment venues, things that we travel typically to Louisville for instance to enjoy."

Still not everyone supports it.

"There's a lot a lot a lot of religious people here that won't want it and that's probably why it hasn't passed in years before," said Carter.

Local church leaders told WAVE 3 they have social concerns about alcohol impairing decisions and drinking and driving.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.