As Interstate 69 construction progresses, supporters for packaged alcohol sales in Mayfield like Steven Elder say its time to prepare for new customers. Elder is the co-chairman of Yes for Mayfield.
“It's going to create jobs. It's going to have a growth. People are going to stay here and buy their alcoholic products. They may spend their money on groceries, they may eat here,” Elder said.
Those voting no say the dollars aren't worth it. Harold Humphrey, treasurer for Concerned Citizens of Graves County, noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports excessive drinking costs the U.S. $2.05 per drink.
“In health care, rehab costs, collisions, lost productivity at work, and then also in the criminal justice system,” Humphrey said,
Since a vote 2003, people in Mayfield have been able to buy drinks by the glass, but they’re not able to buy alcohol at places like gas stations to take home.
Mayfield's vote comes after Graves County voters turned down alcohol sales for the county in January. The group Yes for Mayfield turned in a petition with more than a thousand names to make the city's special election possible Tuesday.
“We want to keep our money locally,” Elder said.
“We just don't feel like it's worth it for Mayfield,” Humphrey said.
The Mayfield-Graves County Chamber of Commerce and Mayfield Graves County Tourism Commission tourism endorse sales.
“We can draw people in, even from the county, to come into Mayfield, spend their money here, and create the economic activity that we need here,” Elder said.
Humphrey says a lack of alcohol signs in grocery stores adds to the quality of life in Mayfield, and it helps prevent children from taking that first sip.
“If you knew that someone in your family or one of your children would either be killed or abused by someone that had purchased a package of alcohol in Mayfield, Kentucky, how would you vote?,” Humphrey asked.
Supporters say to look at the progress of other cities the size of Mayfield like Bardstown or Somerset, but those against alcohol sales argue it's better for those who want packaged alcohol to make the drive rather than change Mayfield.
Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Local 6’s Juliana Valencia will be live from the courthouse to bring you the results and reaction at 6 and 10 Tuesday night.
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