Hardin County officials say expanded alcohol sales will help the area capitalize on future developments further north.
On October 4th, voters in Elizabethtown, Radcliff and Vine Grove will vote on whether to allow alcohol sales at package liquor stores and in restaurants.
“We become a more attractive location, I think, for some younger professionals and professionals when we’ve got more entertainment options and more restaurant options,” says Hardin County Chamber of Commerce President Brad Richardson.
Richardson hopes expanded sales will attract businesses and residents drawn to the area by Fort Knox. He adds that the appeal would also help the cities if Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s plans for a super-region with Lexington and a stronger I-65 corridor come to fruition.
Opponents of the measure say expanded sales will cause more alcohol-related accidents and attract unwelcome vices such as prostitution to the area.
“People are driving to other communities and they’re getting their alcohol and they’re bringing it back. We’re not encouraging anybody to drink who’s not drinking now,” says Richardson of what he calls the opposition’s scare tactics.
Richardson estimates that millions of dollars are spent by Hardin County residents in Jefferson or neighboring counties with more modern liquor laws. “We’re just hoping to capture some of those dollars here,” he says.
An ad campaign promoting expanded sales is forthcoming.
The county was previously dry, but the public voted to give cities the option to expand sales in the last decade. Currently, Vine Grove is entirely dry while Elizabethtown and Radcliff only allow alcohol to be sold by the drink in restaurants.