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Time to allow Sunday package sales

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By Ben Carlson

It’s a wonder Lexington continues to exist now that a full two years have passed since the Urban County Council OK’d Sunday sales of packaged alcohol.

On that fateful day in December of 2007, people there (and from here if they want to drive 30 miles) were allowed to buy beer, wine or whatever they wanted.

Despite the outrage of those opposed to Sunday sales, brimstone has yet to rain from the sky over Fayette County, and the area has yet to be consumed by hellfire, or whatever.

A bit of hyperbole? Yes, but the intended affect is to show that such a decision can be made and the world doesn’t come to a crashing end as a result.

Over the next several weeks, we fully expect Sunday sales to once again become an issue here. Always eager to be out in front of issues, let us be the first to say we hope that our elected officials can see past the personal concerns and allow package and by the drink sales in the county and city.

Not that folks can’t already drink on Sundays in the city. Anyone with a few bucks and bottom that will fit a barstool can belly up at a number of locations and drink their fill.

Why, then, can’t they stop at a store, buy a six-pack and drink their beer or wine or bourbon at home? It says here the community at large is better off with people doing their driving before their drinking, rather than the other way around.

The county doesn’t allow by the drink or package on Sunday, which makes no sense at all but is a very effective means of making sure larger chain restaurants steer clear of Anderson County.

Other than providing access to alcohol on Sundays, what’s in it for the city and county, you ask?

Well, for starters there’s revenue in them there booze glasses and bottles — money each government body can certainly use during what promises to be a tough fiscal year.

There’s also a tourism factor involved. Consider how many more folks would visit our two beautiful distilleries if, at the end of their Sunday tour, they could buy a bottle or two in the gift shop.

Consider, too, that we are blessed with one of the largest and most beautiful wineries in the state. A winery that turns away tour bus after tour bus filled with potential visitors because of a ridiculous county law that forbids them from sipping a glass or buying a bottle of wine on a Sunday afternoon.

Heck, wasn’t it just a little over a year ago when some folks here were all hopped up over enacting a 3 percent restaurant tax to promote tourism?

That was a bad idea. This isn’t. Hopefully the powers that be will realize the difference and join us in our support.