A petition is circulating as the first step to allow liquor sales in Adair County.
According to Paul Carter, the petition will need around 1,750 votes but he wants to get at least 2,000.
While some surrounding counties have had petitions and votes, most attempt to go “moist,” where a restaurant can serve alcohol as long as they serve the customer food. Carter doesn’t think that is a good fit for Adair County.
“The county never prospers off moist,” Carter said.
Carter said he believes going wet compared to moist is actually safer.
“You have one watering hole in the whole town, the customer is going to go in and get slammed and then drive home because that is all that is available,” Carter said. “If you go wet, they can go to dinner, then stop at the convenience store on the way home and get their alcohol to take home with them.”
He pointed out that since Logan County became wet, DUIs went down 70 percent, the police department bought two new cruisers and Carter says they now have $2 million sitting in the bank.
He also referred to Franklin County, who according to Carter, in the last two years added five industries after becoming a wet county.
He also said he understands the hesitancy about this issue.
“I understand people that have lived here all their lives not wanting this,” Carter said, “but we also don’t want our kids and young people having to move away because they can’t find jobs.”
And Carter says that is what this all comes down to.
“This is to grow our county,” Carter said. “You don’t have to have the riff raff that comes along with it like strip clubs and bars on every corner.”
He brought up Pulaski County and stated that though they are wet, they have only gotten restaurants and stores, nothing like strip clubs and “wild and crazy bars” that sometimes come along with the stereotypical wet town.
“I know this isn’t something that is going to happen overnight,” Carter said. “But it really is going to help our county.”
Carter has 6 months to get 1,711 people to sign the petition, 25 percent of the voters in the last general election.
According to Joyce Rodgers, county court clerk, Adair County citizens will vote on the issue no more than 60 days after the petition is filed in her office and no less than 90.
The last special ballot that was held in Adair County was the nickel tax for the school system. County Judge Executive Ann Melton said the cost of that was around $12,000 and prices have increased since then. Melton estimates the cost of the vote to be around $15,000.
For more information about the petition, contact Paul Carter at 270-384-1650.