Barlow, Kentucky, to hold vote on alcohol sales

Voters in one local city will decide whether to allow alcohol sales in their town.

Barlow, Kentucky, recently secured enough signatures to petition a special election Oct. 4. The vote would only be for registered voters within the city limits. That is different from voters in the Barlow precinct. City leaders say alcohol could be what brings some needed money to town.

Brenda Adams works at Betty’s in Barlow, and it’s busy, but not because people are stopping. “There’s a lot of traffic on that intersection, lot of big trucks, lots of travelers," she says.

Adams says she’s seen Barlow change over the years, although not for the best. That’s why she says selling alcohol is a solution she supports. She says she signed the petition. 

City leaders say its businesses they’re hoping will come to town and fill empty buildings.

Mayor Jo Wilfong says the city’s only real source of income is people paying their water bills.

Wilfong says alcohol sales won’t funnel into the city budget. The taxes go towards alcohol licenses and security. But she’s after a trickle down effect.  “If you don’t have anything to offer, that’s what happens. You lose businesses. You don’t have others coming in," she says.

Adams says it’s just time for another change. “We could use any kind of income we can get as long as its legal," she says. 

As for those opposed to the alcohol vote, they say they’re fearful it will cause more crime in town. Wilfong told me if the vote does pass they’ll have the ability to create a small police department to help enforce the laws.

The special election will cost the county an estimated $3,000 to $5,000. If passed, Barlow would be allowed three licenses to sell alcohol beverages.

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