UPDATE: Fiscal Court Approves Sunday Sales in Boyd County

By: Olivia Fecteau; Bill Murray Email
By: Olivia Fecteau; Bill Murray Email

UPDATE 5/7/13
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The Boyd County Fiscal Court has given final approval for Sunday alcohol sales in the county.

Commissioners approved the sales in a 3 to 1 vote during a special meeting on Monday.

The ordinance also includes 3.5 percent tax on liquor sales.

Right now, the approval of Sunday sales only impacts four restaurants in the county that have liquor licenses.

Commissioners say taking the issue before voters with a special election would have cost the county more than $85,000.

In March, Ashland City Commissioner approved Sunday sales in two city precincts following a special election on the issue.



UPDATE 3/21/13 @ 11 p.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Hours have officially been set for Sunday alcohol sales in Ashland, Ky.

Thursday night, City Commissioners approved the second reading of an ordinance allowing those sales and setting sale hours.

Earlier this month, voters in two precincts in Ashland approved the sale of alcohol on Sunday’s during a special election. Businesses in the Moore and Central precincts had petitioned the city to allow Sunday sales. Following the vote, it was up to the city to set the hours.

The plan is to allow restaurants to sell alcohol from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sundays. Package stores will be allowed to sell from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. They expect sales to start next month.

“It's good to get it behind us. The voters have spoken in those two precincts in what they wanted. Is everyone happy? Obviously not, but we've got to move forward with what we think is best for our community and what the voters have said, “ said Commissioner Larry Brown.

Businesses wanting to sell alcohol will need to submit a permit to the city.



UPDATE 3/7/13 @ 6 p.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- City Commissioners in Ashland say they plan to allow Sunday sales of alcohol in restaurants and package stores in the city.

The Ashland City Commission met for the first time Thursday following last week’s vote in two precincts to allow Sunday sales.

There were 159 votes to allow Sunday alcohol sales, and 50 votes against the sales.

The election was only open to people who lived in the Moore and Central precincts in Ashland. Businesses in those two precincts had petitioned the city to allow Sunday sales.

Commissioners had the power to overturn that vote. They also had to decide if the alcohol sales would be limited to restaurants or include package stores.

The commissioners clarified Thursday that both would be included.

Right now, they plan to allow restaurants to sell alcohol from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sundays. Package stores will be allowed to sell from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. They expect sales to start next month.

Commissioner Kevin Gunderson said the commission supported the vote because it's what the people wanted.

"I voted for it because the majority of those in the two impacted precincts voted for it," Gunderson said.

While some people are pleased with the decision, others still aren't happy -- including some local church groups. One of the issues they have with this vote is that people from only two precincts were allowed to vote.

"You're making a decision for 20,000 people based on two precincts," Dr. Floyd Paris, pastor of Unity Baptist Church, said.

Paris also thinks the city commission moved too quickly and with insufficient information about what the sales would mean. He said many Christians from Ohio and West Virginia come to Ashland restaurants on Sundays to enjoy their dinners apart from alcohol.

"We need to ask some of these questions, we need to get some of these figures and we need to actually slow down a little bit," Paris said.

Local business owners said this move could be good for the economy and create more jobs.

"We got one part-timer for sure that will get an extra day's work, and somebody else will be moved to Sundays also," Rick Brislin, owner of liquor store 1st Stop, said. "In the future, we may end up having to hire extra people."

Brislin said people who live in Ashland have had to go to Ohio or West Virginia to buy their alcohol on Sundays, and it's costing Ashland -- and the people buying alcohol.

"They've had to go to Ohio to purchase their alcohol and there's a few places [that have] been known to charge an extra dollar [or] dollar and a half a case because they can," Brislin said. "There's no place else for them to get it."

But the new law could potentially change that.

"There's a lot of sales that go right across that bridge that we can hold on this side of the river since we're going be able to be open," he said.

Even though the new law means restaurants could still refuse to sell alcohol on Sundays, Dr. Paris said he doubts any would do that.

"Everybody is going to want more bullets [for] their guns, especially if they think there's a shooting [that's] going to happen," Paris said. "Any way that they can make more money, they're willing to do that."

City Commissioner meets again in two weeks, on March 21, for the second reading of the ordinance making Sunday sales official.



UPDATE 2/27/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Now that Ashland voters approved Sunday sales of alcohol in downtown restaurants, some business owners with establishments in Boyd County wonder if the momentum has started.

"I think it's progress," Tal Callihan said. "That means there's hope out there."

Callihan has two establishments at the KYOVA Mall, and Sunday alcohol sales are off limits there.

"We can't take advantage of it," Callihan said. "The biggest sports day of the week is Sunday for some athletics, and it's not worth opening up."

Tuesday's election, which took place in just two precincts, was fueled by petitions signed in two downtown districts.

A petitioner would now have to request an election at the county level, and that would require about 4,000 signatures.

"It would have to be a full countywide election," Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones said. "They would need 25 percent of the signatures that voted in the last presidential election; that was a huge election."

A countywide election, if petitioners were successful, would cost taxpayers about $80,000.



UPDATE 2/26/13 @ 7:55 p.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Voters in Ashland have approved Sunday alcohol sales at restaurants in downtown Ashland, but the measure must still go before the City Commission for two readings for official approval.

There were 159 votes to allow Sunday alcohol sales, and 50 votes to disallow such sales.

The vote was only open to people who lived in the Moore and Central precincts in Ashland. Businesses in those two precincts had petitioned the city to allow Sunday sales.

The vote breakdown in those precincts are as follows:

  • Moore -- 64 yes, 21 no
  • Central -- 95 yes, 29 no

    Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles said the measure will be on the agenda of the next scheduled City Commission meeting March 7 for a first reading. Charles also said city commissioners will have to set the hours of sales.

    The mayor also pointed out that while Tuesday's vote only affects restaurants, the Commissioners could decide to extend the yes vote to package stores.

    Restaurants mangers and owners say the vote is a major win for them and their customers.

    Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



    UPDATE 2/26/13
    ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Some voters in Ashland, Ky. are heading to the polls today to decide whether local establishments can sell alcohol on Sundays.

    The vote is only open to people who live in the Moore and Central precincts in Ashland.

    The voting is taking place at one polling location, the Ashland Fire Station on Carter Avenue. Polls are open until 6 p.m.

    Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones says while people are voting on the same issue, the outcome could be different in each precinct.

    "Because of the dividing line between the districts, there are restaurants across the street from other," Jones said. "One could potentially be eligible to have Sunday sales, and the other across the street could not."

    Business owners say a yes vote would allow them to be more competitive with restaurants in other cities that allow Sunday sales.

    Restaurants in these two districts are already allowed to sell and serve alcohol on the other days of the week.

    Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



    ORIGINAL STORY 2/21/13
    ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Some voters in Ashland, Ky. will head to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether local establishments can sell alcohol on Sundays.

    Fiesta Bravo has been an Ashland staple for 25 years. The assistant manager says the restaurant loses business on Sunday's to sports bars, within driving distance, in both West Virginia and Ohio.

    "I'd love to see our tables filled with people here on a Sunday to watch NASCAR or football," Goldie Benting, manager said. "If we had alcohol on Sundays, I think we'd draw a great crowd."

    Tuesday's vote has got people talking, not just about the issue, but the election itself.

    "I think this should have come before city commissioners," said Dr. Floyd Paris.

    Paris is the pastor at Unity Baptist Church along 29th Street and has been an outspoken opponent since the start.

    "I don't think that the way it's currently worded and the petition they had to get it as a referendum," Paris said. "I don't think it's legitimate and I don't think it's going to stand up, even if the vote passes."

    The polls are only open to people who live in the Moore and Central Districts of Ashland. It's two districts voting on the same issue and the outcome could be different in each.

    The Boyd County Clerk, Debbie Jones, says that means two outcomes could surprise a lot of people.

    "Because of the dividing line between the districts, there are restaurants across the street from other," Jones said. "One could potentially be eligible to have Sunday sales, and the other across the street could not."

    There is only one polling place on Tuesday. It will be at the Ashland Fire Department on Carter Avenue. The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.


  • Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
    powered by Disqus
    WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
    Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 192374171 - wsaz.com/a?a=192374171