Consideration of Sunday alcohol sales becomes hot topic in Wolfe County

Published: Jun. 12, 2019 at 6:43 PM EDT
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To sell or not to sell? That is the recent question asked in reference to Sunday alcohol sales in recent Wolfe County Fiscal Court meetings.

Officials say the county became "wet" back in 1991, meaning alcohol was only to be sold Monday through Saturday.

In February's meeting, Magistrate Wade Gibbs says several people voted to have an ordinance created allowing for Sunday sales which must now be approved by the Fiscal Court.

"The responses that I've gotten have been 15, maybe 20, to one in support of Sunday sales," Gibbs said.

To move forward, the court must have two public readings of this ordinance which will, in turn, need to be approved by majority vote.

Locals shared with WYMT what they feel are benefits and drawbacks of the possible change.

"Powell County has sales on Sunday. Breathitt County has sales on Sunday," Clifton Gifford, the owner of Sky Bridge Station said. "So it's difficult for us now that we are in the position of sending people elsewhere. I'll average between 2-300 sales on a Saturday. On Sunday, it's 20 to 40."

Adam Hays, a retired pastor, says he understands that business owners must make money to live but his reason for opposing this county-wide change is based on more than economic growth.

"I'm opposed to the sale of alcohol period," Hays said. "I wish it wasn't on the market because I think it destroys a lot of lives. It's a shame that we've gotten to the place where we think we have to sell alcohol or legalize drugs in order to create revenue."

Now officials must consider only selling in restaurants by the drink and not in stores by the package in an attempt to please both sides.

County officials plan to present the ordinance to the public in upcoming meetings.

For those interested in attending, meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 1:30 p.m.