Princeton voters to decide alcohol sales issue
PRINCETON, Ky. — From cupcakes to Chicago-style hot dogs, you can get a lot in Princeton. One thing you cannot get is a cold one and the city's mayor believes that is hurting downtown.
"This used to be a café," Gale Cherry said, pointing to a padlocked building with a rent sign in a dusty window. "It breaks my heart."
According to Cherry, there are 13 other buildings just like it in the downtown area. She believes going wet will mean more opportunities.
"We know it's not a panacea and it will not do everything in the world for the community economically, but it is a beginning."
But Justin Ramey with Champions for a Safe Community argues just the opposite.
"It does bother me there's empty store fronts. But I don't believe decreasing the cost of alcohol and increasing the availability is going to boost the economy in town."
After Murray voters approved alcohol sales Tuesday, he said he will be breaking a sweat to keep his city dry.
"Murray is a wake-up call, something for us to make sure we're not too comfortable."
Ramey believes underaged drinking and health risks far outweigh the extra dollars for downtown.
"It's not going to help the rest of us."
But Mayor Cherry believes it can and she said the question is not as simple as a "yes" or "no" to alcohol.
"I think the question is now do the citizens of this community want to be more like Murray, which is growing by leaps or bounds, or do they want to continue to lose our population as we have here in the last 10 years?"
Cherry told Local 6 she has heard from four separate parties that are interested in one downtown building and bringing a restaurant to Princeton, if, of course, the city goes wet.
The issue appears on the ballot for city voters Aug. 7.