Commonwealth Journal

News Live

October 16, 2013

Burnside goes full-on wet

Burnside — Lake Cumberland is no longer the only thing that’s fully “wet” about Burnside.

By a count of 123-39, a smattering of Burnside voters opted to keep up with their neighbors in Somerset and permit expanded alcohol sales within city boundaries.

Previously, those who wished to sell alcoholic beverages in Burnside could do so only in the form of individual drinks purchased at restaurants.

That was when Burnside was a fifth-class city, however. The town’s recent bump up in classification to fourth-class allowed for the opportunity to go “wet” — that is, permitting beer and liquor sales in a retail store setting — and voters decided to capitalize on it.

It was a low turnout for an option election, just as Pulaski County Clerk Ralph Troxtell predicted on Monday.

Although there were 523 registered voters eligible to cast their ballots, only a little over 160 did so on Tuesday. That’s less than half the number of total voters involved in the 2007 re-vote on the referendum for serving drinks in restaurants, which itself saw fewer total voters than the first option election in 2004.

Absentee ballots were split on the question, 2-2. The Nancy precinct, which voted at the Pulaski County Courthouse rather than the Burnside Fire Station like the other precincts, brought out only one of its three registered voters (he or she voted in favor of alcohol sales). Likewise, East Burnside County saw only one vote cast, also for the “yes” column.

The Burnside City precinct saw the heaviest turnout, with a decisive margin of 108 votes for alcohol sales to 36 against.

North Burnside City saw its residents vote 8-0 in favor of alcohol sales, and South Burnside County was 3-1.

“It’s been a real smooth day,” said Troxtell, sitting in one of the emptiest county clerk’s office environments on an election night in recent memory. “Very minimal calls. Very few called that thought they could vote that weren’t eligible to vote. It’s actually been a long, boring day, because we went through the same process as a general election.”

The weeks leading up to the election were as quiet as the polling places themselves. The vote was virtually free of the campaigning by “wet” and “dry” forces in advertising and yard signage.

Only Burnside Mayor Ron Jones was particularly vocal about his views on the subject, and as expected, he was quite pleased to hear that Burnside had gone “wet,” being as he was concerned about losing business to Somerset following the latter town’s 2012 alcohol vote.

“I think it just sort of reaffirms the citizens’ faith in me to lead the community in the manner that it needs to be led,” said Jones. “... We’re glad to see we’re going to have additional revenue without having to tax the people who live here. We need all the money from any other source we can get.”

Due to recent changes in Kentucky Revised Statute policy, Jones isn’t entirely sure yet how all the laws regarding Burnside’s new status — able to sell beer in store, and distilled spirits and wine by quota licenses — will work.

When Burnside first went “moist” a decade ago, the city was able to financially benefit through implementing a food tax and direct alcohol tax on individual purchases.

Now, Burnside should be able to put a licensing fee into place, much like Somerset does, as well as a separate regulatory fee on individual purchases that might serve a function very similar to the previous alcohol tax.

Jones noted that the city could use additional police officers, as well as extra money in the city coffers to construct a planned amphitheater at Cole Park along with additional parking capacity there.

“Exactly what we can do and how (the state) will allow us to use the revenue off of (the expanded alcohol sales) is unclear yet,” said Jones, “... (but) I think that revenue should make a big difference for our town.”

1
Text Only
News Live
  • eubank school1.jt.jpg New cafeteria coming soon to Eubank Elementary

    Students at one elementary school in northern Pulaski County will be taking their lunches in the classroom for a bit while construction to its cafeteria continues. 

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rift over firefighter pay finally history

    Somerset officials are closing the books on a years-long disagreement between the city and the state labor cabinet over overtime pay and other benefits for firefighters and EMS workers. 

    July 31, 2014

  • BURNSIDE LODGE-TURNER FOTO.jpg Turner to meet with commissioner on Burnside Island

    A state representative unhappy over secrecy surrounding possible privatization of General Burnside Island State Park said he will respond positively to an invitation to meet with Elaine Walker, commissioner of Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Ca

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Derek Kissee.jpg Science Hill man charged in Rockcastle County beating

    A Science Hill man has been accused of beating and leaving another Pulaski County man for dead in an abandoned Rockcastle County rock qu

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kingsford Fire 07-29-2014 KS 09.jpg No injuries, minimal damage at Kingsford Plant

    A normal production day at the Kingsford Charcoal Plant in southern Pulaski County was halted for a few hours while firefighters worked to put out a small blaze at the plant. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 020313 SCC Rogers BLdg-0286.jpg SCC tabbed as one of top places to work

    A national publication dedicated to all things secondary education has named Somerset Community College one of the best in the nation to work for. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Warning: Robo phone scam targeting local residents

    Authorities are warning local residents of a possible phone scam.

    July 28, 2014

  • Baskin Robbins Reopens 07-29-2014 JT 17.jpg Baskin Robbins is back in Somerset

    Even with two Dairy Queens, a new Orange Leaf and an ice cream truck, Somerset residents have still been screaming for more ice cream.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DOWNTOWN SIDEWALK FOTO.JPG Heated sidewalks provide sparks for workers
    A heated sidewalk to melt snow and ice was “quite the thing” a half century ago in a small town like Somerset. This town’s first and only electrically warmed sidewalk was installed facing Fountain Square alongside First and Farmers National Bank when the bank’s downtown headquarters building was constructed in 1963-64.
    As snow fell, the warm sidewalk melted a walkway about 2 feet wide alongside the bank. It was the talk of the town; quite a gimmick.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 021614 Citizens 11 Boyd randolph.jpg Somerset Schools will fight ruling

    The recent hearing regarding the conflict with county schools over non-resident students might not have gone Somerset’s way, but that doesn’t mean they’re done fighting.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

News Live
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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