The “nays” won it, 6,906 to 6,211.
Controversy is already erupting over plans announced last week by Calvert City to annex Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, with the ultimate goal of making by-the-drink alcohol sales available to visitors to the park’s facilities.
Calvert City, the northernmost of three incorporated communities in the county, voted 10 years ago to legalize alcohol sales by the drink in restaurants with 100 or more seats.
If annexed, the lodge and convention center at Kentucky Dam Village State Park would meet those requirements.
Opinions are just as hardened as they are near-equal in opposition, and we have only begun to see and hear the debate on this matter in particular and the subject in general. But the salient facts are these, and they are beyond debate:
• By remaining dry, Marshall County continues to lose business and tax revenues to neighboring areas for everything from convenience store and grocery store beer and wine sales to large-scale conventions and other gatherings.
• Marshall County residents who wish to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages have little deterrence in not being able to make their purchases within the county. They merely drive to Paducah, Murray, Eddyville or some other location where those products are available.
Not quite as rock-solid as those facts are the subjective issues, such as the effect of alcohol on quality of life and the overall moral climate of a community.
It’s easy enough to make an emotional appeal against alcohol based on anecdotal evidence, but it cannot be objectively demonstrated that there has been any adverse impact on the moral fiber of Calvert City in the decade since liquor-by-the-drink was permitted.
It seems clear that permitting liquor-by-the-drink at the state park would stimulate business growth, and it strains the imagination to suggest that it would result in traffic jams of alcohol abusers headed to the lodge or the convention center to belly up to the bar in those establishments.
All of Marshall County, frankly, has much more important issues with which to contend, and expansion of business opportunities and the tax revenue that comes with that could be put to good use in addressing some of those issues.
It is entirely within the realm of possibility for adults to enjoy a beer or a glass of wine with a meal. To permit responsible adults to do so at a facility such as Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park would be a major step forward for Marshall County.