All nine of Mayfield’s precincts voted in favor of packaged alcohol sales in Tuesday’s special election. 1,356 people voted in support of it, and 968 voted against it.
Steven Elder, the co-chairmen of Yes for Mayfield, says he's happy with the outcome but even more excited all precincts voted in favor of it.
“What that tells me is that every precinct, every group, from north, south, east, west in Mayfield wanted to pass this. So, that's a very exciting thing to know that our efforts enabled that to happen,” Elder said.
Elder says he believes this will create economic activity for everyone.
“We finally get to keep our money at home. Anytime you keep your money here, you're going to spur economic growth and you're going to bring jobs and businesses. So, that in itself is going to be a huge plus,” Elder said.
He says he hopes this encourages future investments in the city from businesses such as breweries.
“We have a Mayfield native currently that has a business in Paducah. We want to bring those investments back here to Mayfield,” Elder said.
Harold Humphrey, who voted against packaged alcohol sales and is the treasurer for Concerned Citizens of Graves County, says the group's work is not over.
“I don't believe it's a victory for Mayfield,” Humphrey said.
He wants to be involved as Mayfield leaders decide what’s next.
“You know the old saying 'Two heads are better than one,' and we'd like to have some input in that,” Humphrey said.
Mayfield Mayor Teresa Rochetti-Cantrell says the city's Finance and Administration Committee has met multiple times over the past 120 days in preparation, and that they have an ordinance ready to go for the next city council meeting on July 11. Rochetti-Cantrell said they're looking at Danville, Kentucky’s, ordinance closely and trying to do the same things it did, including regarding restrictions.
“My concern is the proximity of the retail establishments to our schools and also our daycare centers,” Humphrey said.
So, while not everyone agrees this is the right decision, both sides say the safety of the city's kids is a top priority.
“I’m a father of two. I want to do everything we can to make sure that our community is safe and a good place to live,” Elder said.
Mayfield's mayor said the zoning committee will hold a meeting next week where they plan to talk about zoning changes to ensure neighborhoods will be protected from alcohol retailers setting up shop. She says packaged alcohol sales will most likely only be allowed in business districts, and the city will operate on a case by case basis.
Smoke Shop No. 6 is one of the closest liquor stores to Mayfield. Local 6 went in before the votes were counted Tuesday to ask what they thought about whether the majority of Mayfield voters asked for packaged sales. Manager Amy Ross says Tuesday’s outcome will most likely affect their sales.
“We do have our loyal customers who like to come see us, and you know hopefully they'll keep continuing to come, and we will kind of see what happens from there,” Ross said.
It will be at least 60 days before a store can sell packaged alcohol in Mayfield. Graves County voted against a similar measure in January.
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