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Council asks after-hours group to return with fewer days for 2 a.m. alcohol sales

From left, Councilmen Bill Sheckles, Frankie Hibbs and Coach Roland Williams talk prior to the start of Tuesday’s city council meeting.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 — After nearly 30 minutes of discussion about allowing bars to serve alcohol until 2 a.m., the Bardstown City Council told the After Hours Coalition to reduce the number of dates it wanted longer hours from 18 to “four or five.”

But members of the council voiced doubt if they could support approving any longer hours for the city’s bars.

Councilman David Dones said he hadn’t heard any support for longer bar hours. And based on the feedback he’s received, “I can’t support it in any form.”

Councilman Joe Buckman said he had trouble supporting the move to allow alcohol sales to 2 a.m.

Councilman Joe Buckman also said he hadn’t heard support for longer hours, and that he didn’t feel comfortable voting for the request.

“We’re not saying here that we’re not in favor of having a bar or that sort of entertainment downtown,” Buckman said. “But when you start dividing up dates, where do you draw the line?”

The coalition’s scaled down request for 11 dates for extended sales hours didn’t get much support from the council, either.

Councilman Roland Williams said he felt 11 days were too many days to approved the extended hours.

Coalition member Detra Haycraft told the council they were willing to reduce the number dates for longer sales, and the group would drop the variable dates it wanted, as well as its requet for the months of June and July.

Councilman Frankie Hibbs

Councilman Frankie Hibbs suggested allowing later sales only on the Friday and Saturday of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. “It’s two days that would be beneficial to the community and not too big of a nuisance.”

Haycraft said the biggest bar crowds take place during the summer street concert, bourbon festival and the Turkey Kick in November. Some of the pub crawls could be sacrificed to get the higher traffic events, she said.

Heaton asked Haycraft and the coalition to come back with four or five dates it would like to have the extended alcohol sales. Heaton suggested the council take up the matter at its July 23, 2019 meeting.

BUDGET FIRST READING. The council approved the first of two readings of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget needed for its final approval before the end of the current fiscal year on June 30, 2019.

The Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes $63.99 million in revenues and $62 million in expenses. The budget represents an approximate $7.88 million increase over the current fiscal year’s budget.

Councilman Bill Sheckles suggests the council vote up or down on extended alcohol sales in Bardstown.

In his letter to the council, Mayor Dick Heaton said the increase is due to $14.32 million in capital expenditures, which will include approximately $1.5 million in remodeling the old Newcomb Oil property on KY 245 for use as Fire Station No. 1. Approximately $8 million in capital projects are being carried over to the new fiscal year.

Several of those projects include the replacement of the Rowan Creek Trunk Sewer Main, upgrading the Pottershop Pump Station, and plant improvements at the Town Creek Plant, all of which will be financed through the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority and $1.6 million in grant funding.

Other city projects include expanding the city cable and internet department into parts of the former fire station part of city hall, adding onto the existing public works shop building, and expanding cable TV and internet service to additional areas of the county, and upgrading the current infrastructure.

In other business, the city council:

  • approved a request by the Bardstown Church of God for a fireworks permit for tent to be placed at 726 N 3 St.
  • approved a donation request of $1751 from United for Recovery for funding to help pay for booklets related to the group’s mission to educate the community about drug abuse and addiction.
  • Tammy Gibson, the group’s founder and CEO, said the booklets will contain lists of resources for those seeking treatment for drug addiction, mental health issues, emergency shelters, food assistance, and other resources. The printed booklets will be distributed to first-responders, schools, and hospitals.
  • approved a water and sewer request from the developers of Maywood subdivision Phase XII. The requests asks the city to take over the maintenance of the water and sewer infrastructure after it is completeted. The development will included 10 duplex buildings and 15 single family homes.
  • approved a water main extension to serve BWI Exchange on a new lot in the Wilson Industrial Park that already has sewer access.

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