Marshall Co. workshops Sunday alcohol sales and liquor store distances

Marshall County Fiscal Court held the second workshop on the county’s alcohol ordinance. The county voted back in July to go wet by 202 votes.

The county has until Oct. 4 to pass the ordinance. If they do not, they won’t be able to collect on alcohol taxes and fees.

Today’s workshop was about a question of 1500 feet. The first ordinance read that no liquor store could be within 1,000 feet of any school, church, or daycare facility. Many today were calling for the radius to be set at 2,000 feet. Today’s ordinance read 500 feet, and would only apply to the stores selling wine or spirits.

For example, in Draffenville many were concerned the 500 foot radius wouldn’t protect their children and churches from the potential alcohol vendors right outside of the radius. Others say it could push forward the county’s economic growth.

With a reading of the new ordinance, the county fiscal court was open for comments. The meeting was not without its tense moments. Everyone with heart-felt pleas from personal experience spoke at the podium to those who wanted to remind the county about economic growth.

Glenn McNeely from Marshall County spoke about his experience as a victim of a drunk driving accident. He said, "I have drove drunk. I was an idiot, and I’ll be an idiot until the day I die for doing it."

Marilyn Williams thanked the court for their work in implementing the ordinance. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here and serving because you won your election; so did we," she said.

Kathy Wood, co-owner of Moors Resort and Marina said, "Our tourism struggles in this county. Unless you work in the area, its hard to understand competition against people who have extra tools."

The county commissioners listened to speaker after speaker, including school representatives.

Marshall County School Superintendent Trent Lovett said he "(does) not want a liquor store on the end of High School Road as those kids are leaving every day."

But County Commissioner Dr. Rick Cocke reminded the room that an ordinance should not tear Marshall County apart "That’s my prayer: that after this ordinance is finished and the document is complete, that Marshall County can heal," Cocke said.

This was a workshop on the county’s ordinance. Benton, Calvert City, and Hardin all have their own ordinances and readings to work through. Those cities are working through their respective processes as well.

The fiscal court also listened to concern over the debate about alcohol sales on Sunday. The current ordinance says sale can be from 1 p.m. to 12 a.m. by the drink only. 

Marshall County looked to Murray and Trigg County as models for their ordinance, but establishing specific distances between churches, schools and liquor stores would be special to Marshall County.

To read the ordinance, click here

The next workshop will be Thursday, September 10th at 9:30 am. 

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