With the results from last week’s wet/dry election now certified, potential alcohol sellers will have to wait almost two months before they can apply for a license.
Murray City Clerk Harla McClure, who acts as the city’s administrator for the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said state law requires a 60-day period between certification of an alcohol elections and the day that vendors can apply for licenses to sell. This is to give the city council plenty of time to decide on what kind of regulatory rate they want to set on alcoholic beverages and to pass related legislation. Murray Mayor Bill Wells said he planned for the city’s finance committee to meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, in City Hall to discuss the matter.
After the 60 days has passed, the state will then advertise in the newspaper to let the public know how many licenses will be available for package stores and liquor by the drink. Then – and only then – will vendors be able to submit license applications to the city.
Vendors will have 30 days to submit applications, and they will then be sent to the ABC for review. Although the ABC makes the final decision, they will seek input on the applications from city officials. McClure said the city cannot accept any applications before the 60 days is up.
McClure said the state’s review process involves sending an economic impact questionnaire to all the applicants asking them how many individuals they expect to employ, how much revenue they expect to generate, what kind of impact they expect to have on the community, among other concerns. ABC officials will come to Murray to take a look at the facilities the vendors plan to use before granting licenses.
“Depending on the applications they get, that will probably be a two-or-three-month process after the close of that 30 days,” McClure said. “But the retail beer licenses, those are not quota licenses, so after we become wet and the ordinance is adopted, then people will be able to apply for that.”
McClure said applicants must also place an ad in the newspaper to inform the public that their applications are up for review. The public has 30 days to file objections to an application with the ABC, she said.
“What the state has stated is that if the city has its ordinance adopted and (the ABC) knows how many quota licenses we’re going to have, someone could advertise before (the ABC) ad is put in the paper advising how many licenses (may be issued),” McClure said. “There is that 30-day window, but we can’t take applications until the state actually advertises in the paper.”