- Associated Press - Monday, July 13, 2015

BENTON, Ky. (AP) - Three years after Marshall County residents narrowly stymied a measure to legalize alcohol sales in the county, residents are two weeks away from again voting on the issue.

Activists on both sides of the issue are trying to get people’s support before the July 28 election, The Paducah Sun reports (https://bit.ly/1M67Em9). A similar measure in 2012 fell about 700 votes short of becoming law, with about 52.6 percent of county voters opting against the measure.

Randy Newcomb, executive director of Kentucky Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, said a recent study showed the current demand for alcohol in Marshall County would have a $3.9 million annual impact, if the sales were legalized.

“I understand the moral dilemma, but the alcohol is already here,” local store owner Matt Quinn said. “It is bought elsewhere, and the revenue stays elsewhere.”

Other Marshall County residents don’t think alcohol sales would have a positive net impact.



Keith Travis, chairman of the dry group Say No Now, says the social effects of selling alcohol would far outweigh potential economic benefits - benefits that he says are exaggerated.

“Not only are there legal stipulations on how alcohol revenue is used, but more money will have to be spent on police to control the alcohol consumption,” Travis said.

Tom Hiter opposes the sale of alcohol. He grew up in Fairdealing and traveled the world while in the Army before returning in 1989 with a wife and three children. He prefers the quiet, simple life that Marshall County offers.

“I can’t prove it, but I believe we’ll lose some vacationers who come here for the family atmosphere,” Hiter said. “Who takes their family to a bar while on vacation?”

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Information from: The Paducah Sun, https://www.paducahsun.com

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