11/04/09 — Pikeville rejects alcohol ... again

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Pikeville rejects alcohol ... again

By Laura Collins
Published in News on November 4, 2009 1:46 PM

For the fourth time in nine years Pikeville residents have decided not to allow alcohol to be sold within town limits.

Voters had three options on the ballot: to vote for or against permitting off-premises sales only of malt beverages; to vote for or against permitting on-premises sales of malt beverages by Class A hotels, motels and restaurants only and to permit off-premises sales; and to vote for or against permitting on-premises and off-premises sales of unfortified wine.

Off-premises sales refers to buying alcohol at a convenience store or grocery store. Malt beverages refers to beer, and unfortified wine refers to wines with a lower alcohol content.

Lifetime Pikeville resident Ray Smith said he agreed with the outcome of the vote.

"I'm not for it. I just don't drink, never have," he said. "I've heard the pros and cons and I don't see how it can be beneficial to the town."

Seven-year resident Alan Moore also agreed with the outcome.

"I came out to vote tonight mostly because of the alcohol referendum and whether they should sell it," he said. "I personally voted against it. You can go somewhere else to get it. (Not selling alcohol) sets Pikeville apart."

About 190 people cast their vote concerning alcohol sales. For the first option of selling off-premises only malt beverages, 80 people voted for the option and 103 voted against the option.

For the second option of selling on and off-premises malt beverages, 89 people voted for and 105 people voted against the option.

For the third option of selling on and off-premises unfortified wine, 80 people voted for and 106 people voted against the option.

Proponents of wine sales contended it could help bring more business to Pikeville.

"I'm disappointed," Commissioner Todd Anderson said. "I personally have plans and hopes for some of the derelict buildings in town. But it's very clear that folks here are not interested in allowing beer and wine in town and that has to be respected. It forces the commissioners to think about how to revitalize downtown."

Mayor Herb Sieger, a vocal supporter of alcohol sales during the campaign, said the outcome was unfortunate.

"I'm not a proponent of alcohol, but I am a proponent of what selling it could do for the town," he said. "I think this could hold the town back."

Anderson added that restriction in general is fatal to any city.

"Towns are like sharks, if they don't move forward, they die," he said.