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County to vote on liquor ordinance change today

BY KATHLEEN FOXkfox@paducahsun.com

The McCracken County Fiscal Court will hold a second public forum today then vote on an action that would tweak local liquor laws after postponing the issue during a previous meeting.

Commissioners will again hear the second reading of the alcoholic beverage control licensing requirements, then open the meeting up for public comments in favor of or against measure. During the Jan. 27 meeting, two residents spoke against the changes. Deputy County Clerk Lyne Dickey spoke to further expand the measure's specifics during the forum.

The new alcohol ordinance, part of Senate Bill 13 that was passed last year by the Kentucky Legislature, includes general changes to ABC licensing laws. The new legislation states that counties can approve or oppose the measure or leave out certain language to individualize laws.

If the Fiscal Court rejects the measure completely, the area would default to state laws, which would allow liquor sales on election days. The county would lose about $10,000 in additional liquor tax revenue if commissioners vote against the law. The court can approve the measure with the caveat of including the 1950 law that prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on those days, according to Dickey.

She said about 15 of the 115 businesses that would be affected by the change are in the county and the other 100 are located within the city limits. The Paducah City Commission passed similar legislation in December.

Judge-Executive Van Newberry said following the previous meeting that the court plans to vote following the public comment section of today's meeting. He said commissioners wanted to hear additional thoughts from community members and avoid a rushed decision. The deadline to pass the legislation is June 30.

The McCracken County Fiscal Court will meet at 6 p.m. today at the county courthouse in courtroom D.

Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

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