The Richmond Register

Local News

September 8, 2013

Wet/dry petition circulating in Berea

RICHMOND — Berea resident Jim Lucas approached the city council during its Tuesday meeting to announce he had mailed petitions to gauge public opinion for a citywide vote on allowing alcohol sales within the city.

Lucas said he wrote a column which appeared in the Berea Citizen the week before and had mailed petition cards to every registered voter in the city that morning.

“Once we get all the petition cards back, we’re going to send them to the county clerk requesting that a local option election on the wet/dry issue be conducted here in Berea,” Lucas said.

In April 2012, referendum voters in East Berea, the precinct that includes Boone Tavern Hotel, approved 147-57 a measure that would allow historic hotels with restaurants that seat 50 or more to serve drinks.

However, the sale of alcohol at Boone Tavern would have to be approved by the trustees of Berea College, which owns the business, and they have taken no action on the issue.

In late July 2007, referendum voters across Berea defeated 1,539 to 1,125 a measure that would have allowed drink sales in any restaurant that seats 100 or more patrons and derives 70 percent or more of its income from the sale of food.

Only in the East Berea precinct, where voters four years later approved drink sales in historic hotel/restaurants, did they favor them in 2007. The margin was 12 votes.

Lucas said he and other supporters of a local-option election support a similar idea, letting alcohol be served in restaurants but not allowing standalone bars to open.

“We feel this is strictly an economic progress, development-type issue,” he said.

He also said he has conducted independent surveys and found that many of the people who voted “no” in 2007 have changed their minds, and they would vote in favor if another referendum were called.

According to Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger, the process for calling local-option elections is outlined in KRS 242.020. The first part of the process involves gathering enough signatures on a petition seeking a referendum. The number must be equal to one quarter of the votes cast in the area’s most recent general election.

After a petition is filed, the clerk’s office audits it to determine if enough valid signatures have been submitted and other legal requirements are met.

If the petition is certified, it is presented to the judge/executive who, working with the county elections board, sets a referendum date.

Lucas said that filling out and mailing back the petition cards does not count one way or the other as a vote on the issue, it simply shows support for calling a referendum.

A copy of KRS 242.020 outlining the process for having a local option election can be found at the Kentucky legislature webpage,

Barger said he encourages anyone interested in collecting signatures for a wet-dry referendum to consult a lawyer to ensure they follow all legal steps in the process.

Seth Littrell can be reached at or 624-6623.

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-20 Shoulders-B.jpg Eggs fly at park

    Easter has probably never been so “eggstravagant” in Richmond as it was Saturday during the annual Eggstravaganza in Irvine-McDowell Park.
    For the first time, thousands of eggs were dropped, appropriately by an “eggbeater”-type helicopter, in addition to thousands of eggs already scattered on the grass below. Together, they numbered about 10,000, according to Erin Moore, Richmond Parks and Recreation director.

    April 20, 2014 12 Photos

  • City awaits funds for Water Street project

    Richmond city officials are still awaiting word on grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Water Street drainage project.
    However, Mayor Jim Barnes said he is confident the money should come through by May 1.

    April 20, 2014

  • Kitcarson1.jpg Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades

    Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
    The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
    With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.

    April 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • KY 52 link to I-75 to be discussed May 13

    While a proposed link from Nicholasville to Exit 95 on Interstate 75 north of Richmond has garnered attention and organized opposition, the state also is developing plans to link I-75 to another community to the west.

    April 20, 2014

  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

     View Results