Letter: Look local, not to Frankfort, for solutions to the whiskey fungus problem

To the editor,

Less than a year ago, the Kentucky House of Representatives voted to remove the Barrel Tax to the benefit of the distillery industry. While I agree with state Rep. Candy Massaroni that something needs to be done, we need to be looking at this from a political reality view and not political theater.

After last year’s vote to remove the barrel tax, it is inconceivable to me that the Kentucky General Assembly will pass House Bill 479, a bill sponsored by Massaroni that would require distilleries with warehouses to pay for cleaning nearby property owners’ homes and buildings.

What I have been advocating for is action on a local level by the Nelson County Fiscal Court. The Fiscal Court can do the following: 1. Pass a nuisance ordinance 2. Charge a civil assessment per square footage of the distilled storage facilities 3. Create a black soot cleanup fund based on the civil assessment income.

I fear this bill is going to provide false hope for some Nelson Countians to get relief and indeed delay action that can be taken now by our Fiscal Court – that is if they have the will and backbone to do it. Nelson County is disproportionately affected by the black soot problem. Getting the majority of the Kentucky General Assembly whose districts don’t have our problems to support such legislation is insurmountable given the Distillery Lobby in Frankfort.

Whereas every magistrate on the Nelson County Fiscal Court knows what problems the black soot causes. From a common sense standpoint, this needs to be done on a local level. We can deal with Political Reality or Political Theater – but with Political Theater you will continually ask yourself why nothing ever gets done. That’s why I am running for State Representative.

Don Thrasher
Candidate for 50th District
High Grove


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