Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 24, 2013

Most Greenup towns said no to alcohol

Carrie Stambaugh
The Independent

GREENUP — Voters in a majority of Greenup cities sided with those in the unincorporated parts of the county to reject alcohol sales. But there were some notable exceptions.

According to the certified results, the measure failed by a margin of 55.99 percent to 44.01 percent, with 8,707 ballots cast. Voter turnout was surprisingly high, according to Greenup County Clerk Pat Hieneman.

“The turnout just blew me away,” she said. “I did not think they would get out with it being a cold day.”

Hieneman said turnout nearly doubled the presidential primary in May. “It just amazed me that people came out, which I think was a good thing,” she said.

Voters in all Greenup County precincts received the same ballots, asking the same question. There were no separate tallies for voters only inside city limits, Hieneman said, explaining precincts in Greenup, Raceland and South Shore also include voters from the unincorporated results.

In Flatwoods, Russell, Bellefonte, Worthington and Wurtland, precincts only include voters inside the limits of each respective city.

In Russell and Bellefonte, where limited alcohol sales are already allowed, voters confirmed their earlier decisions, while residents in Wurtland and Worthington expressed their approval of expanding sales in the county.

Worthington voters voted by the slimmest margin in favor of alcohol sales, with 211 voting yes and 193 voting no.

Voters in Wurtland overwhelmingly supported alcohol sales by a total of 368 votes yes while 204 voted no.

In Russell, voters in all three precincts cast ballots in favor of Greenup County becoming wet by a margin of 468 to 334. In 2008, voters in Russell approved alcohol sales by the drink in restaurants, but to date, no restaurants have applied for licenses.  

Bellefonte voters supported expanded alcohol sales in Greenup County by the largest percentage, 79.12 percent to 20.88 percent. Of the 182 ballots cast, 144 voted yes and 38 voted no.

Voters in Greenup voted against the measure, but were divided, with two of three precincts voting no and one voting yes by a slim margin. There were 520 no votes and 414 yes votes cast.

Residents in Flatwoods also overwhelmingly rejected expanded alcohol sales in the county. As Greenup's only third-class city, if the county had gone wet, Flatwoods would have had an initial monopoly on licenses for liquor drink sales without a food requirement.

There were 877 no votes and 725 yes votes. Only in one precinct — Flatwoods No. 5 — did yes votes outnumber no votes, 59 to 35.

In the precincts covering Raceland, which also include some voters in unincorporated areas of the county, voters also voted no in large numbers, casting 359 no votes to 252 yes votes. Raceland was the only city government in Greenup that approved an alcohol ordinance last fall in anticipation of the county going wet.

In the remainder of the county, the measure also was defeated in nine of 11 precincts.

Only in the Fullerton No. 1 and Springville precincts did yes voters outnumber no voters, and by a sizable majority. There were 73 yes votes cast in Springville precinct to 57 no votes, while in Fullerton No. 1, there were 95 yes votes to 56 no votes. The Fullerton No. 1 precinct covers part of the City of South Shore, as does the Fullerton No. 2.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.