Commonwealth Journal

Local News

August 16, 2013

Burnside looks to expand alcohol sales

Somerset — Burnside was the first town in Pulaski County since the end of Prohibition to legally serve alcohol.

Now, they’ve been left in the unenviable position of having to play catch-up.

The first significant step was taken in that process this week, when a petition was turned into Pulaski County Clerk Ralph Troxtell requesting an option election in Burnside to allow expanded alcohol sales.

This is possible since Burnside is now a fourth-class city. Mayor Ron Jones announced at the April Burnside City Council meeting that the city’s change in classification had been approved by the state legislature. Previously, as a fifth-class city, Burnside was only able to offer alcohol sales by the drink in restaurants.

Likely in October, voters will get to determine if booze is better in Burnside.

Troxtell told the Commonwealth Journal that on Wednesday, citizen Mark Vaught had dropped off the “wet”/“dry” petition in his office at the county courthouse.

Vaught was not the one who started the petition, however — and neither he or Troxtell knows who is responsible.

“I was in my officer heading out the door, and (a staff member) said there was a gentleman who brought this thing by,” said Vaught, real estate appraiser with Childers Financial Services, referring to the petition. “It happens all the time. Everybody knows I’m up at (Troxtell’s) office all the time, and somebody wants me to do something for them.”

Vaught said that an individual had previously called him asking about how many signatures would be required for such a petition, but Vaught couldn’t recall who that individual was.

“I answer so many calls during the day,” he said. “People ask me general information about this or that.”

Troxtell said that he didn’t expect the “mystery filer” aspect of the petition to present any problems with its legality, however.

“I don’t think we have to have a name for filing anything,” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve received one where they didn’t tell me who it was. ... (However,) I don’t think I have the authority to ask anyone’s name.”

In order to be legitimate, a petition like this needs to have a number of signatures equal to or greater than 25 percent of the town’s citizens that voted in the last general election.

The petition passed that hurdle. There are 93 signatures on it; the minimum number needed was 81.

Troxtell said that the signatures had been verified as of late Thursday, and there were 85 good ones in the bunch, meeting the qualifications for certification.

The county clerk has notified Judge-Executive Barty Bullock, who will review the petition and set a date for a local option election.

The election must be set no sooner than 60 days and no later than 90 days after it was filed, putting the likely target date in mid-October, according to Troxtell.

The county clerk doesn’t expect any obstacles — “It looks good,” he said — but said Bullock will likely have county attorney Martin Hatfield go over the legality of it.

The petition reads as follows:

“Burnside now being a 4th Class City; we the undersigned registered voters hereby petition for an election on the following question: ‘Are you in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages in the City of Burnside?’”

The question does not specify whether it’s just aiming for beer sales or liquor stores and bars as well. Somerset has the capability for both following the larger city’s own option election in June 2012.

Mayor Jones said he wasn’t sure what a fourth-class city was capable of allowing, as different classifications provide for different alcohol-sale opportunities. He said he’s going to a seminar next with Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) officials who will “lay everything out for us in a two-day seminar about what all regulations have been changed,” said Jones.

However, spokesperson Nathan Jones of the ABC offices in Frankfort confirmed that Burnside would have the capability to sell retail package distilled spirits and wine, as well as bars.

“Fourth-class cities can have anything,” he told the Commonwealth Journal.

Mayor Jones expected the city council to abide by the wishes of the town’s voters, whatever those may be, but is in favor of the prospect of Burnside having expanded liquor sales as a means of helping the local economy — specifically in competing with the county seat to the north.

“I think it will be good for the town,” said Jones. “Before Somerset went ‘wet,’ the tourists would stop in Burnside and get their gas and their ice and their cold drinks and sandwiches. Now they stop in Somerset and get ice and drinks and sandwiches, and no longer have a reason to stop in Burnside.

“Now, at least we can level the playing field if (the vote passes in favor of alcohol sales),” he added. “Tourists no longer have to stop north of Slate Branch Road. Now they can stop in Burnside.”

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Mayor Girdler.jpg Bill puts freeze on occupational tax funds

    An addition to the late-passed Kentucky Transportation Cabinet budget contains an Easter egg of sorts that could have a substantial impact on Pulaski County — although Somerset’s mayor is downplaying it.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brenzel and LCRH sign cmyk.jpg Brenzel steps down as LCRH CEO

    Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital (LCRH) has announced that CEO Mark Brenzel has decided to step down from the top leadership position.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • recycling.ht.jpg Science Hill elementary students promote recycling

    For one group of Science Hill Independent students, taking out the trash isn’t something they avoid.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • carrie dixon-wiese.jpg Local housing facility subject of $349,000 lawsuit

    A local housing facility is the subject of a lawsuit in U.S. Eastern District Court, with several major entities named as defendants — though the Somerset city attorney notes that’s actually more for their protection.
    The defendants listed included the City of Somerset, Somerset Independent Board of Education, and Pulaski County government, as well as the company Somerset East Mt. Vernon Associates, Ltd.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Last rescue adopted pic.jpg Last of dogs rescued from Nancy kennel is adopted

    The last of 27 dogs housed at a Louisville animal rescue center after they were taken from a western Pulaski County puppy mill in a January raid has found a permanent home.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pulaski gets small share of road money

    Some $200 million worth of road-building projects in Pulaski County during the past decade likely is the reason this county got only a tiny share in the two-year road plan hammered out by the General Assembly during the session that adjourned late Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • LaDonna Hurd.jpg Local firefighter dies from injuries suffered in fall at skating rink

    The community’s move to rally around a local volunteer firefighter, nurse, and single mother injured while roller skating has taken on a more tragic note.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAKE-FISHING FOTO.JPG Rising lake levels are improving area fishing conditions

    The rising level of Lake Cumberland is covering banks that have been bare for seven years and increasing habitat for game fish such as bass, bluegill and crappie.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebenstein, Jacob.jpg Local man receives 12 1/2 years in DUI death of teen

    An entire courtroom on Thursday was moved to tears by parents who spoke of the loss of their 19-year-old son during a sentencing for the man who pleaded guilty in his death.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • City agencies dealing with gas leak

    From the Somerset Police Department:

    If you use East University Drive between KY 1247 and KY 39 or live in the area, your drive may be affected by a gas pipeline leak.

     

    April 17, 2014

News Live
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks