Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 24, 2013

Can Somerset, ABC come to terms?

Somerset —  

Mayor Eddie Girdler is optimistic that the city can resolve its alcohol store problem the easy way. The hard way, however, is also on the table.
Girdler confirmed that a potential lawsuit was one option the city is looking at in order to obtain liquor stores better suited to the vision Somerset officials had when the city went “wet” back in June.
“We are going to very aggressively pursue the way the licenses were issued and either expand those or take another legal route to enforce local ordinances,” Girdler told the Commonwealth Journal last week.
In fact, the city will be doing both — though they still hope to work things out more diplomatically. Girdler told the Commonwealth Journal on Thursday that city officials would both send a letter to the Kentucky Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) requesting additional package liquor retailers and file motions with Pulaski Circuit Court as a sort of back-up plan given the ticking clock looming over the situation.
“We’re under a time frame of getting all this stuff done,” said Girdler. “We’re hoping this can be resolved favorably and negotiated (with the state). Otherwise, we’re going to go ahead and file several motions to allow the circuit judge to look at factors that, by ordinance, have to be looked at (regarding) our way of doing business vs. the state’s reluctance or virtual ignoring of all the rules to issue licenses.”
Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Kentucky ABC had selected five businesses to fill the allotted quota Retail Liquor Package licenses for stores to sell distilled spirits and wine (as opposed to beer, which is already sold at an unlimited number of local retailers). 
Among them were two national drug store chains — Rite-Aid and Walgreens — and three smaller-scale businesses: Apple’s Wine and Spirits, First Stop Party Supply and Package Store, and Wildcat Beer, Wine, and Spirits.

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