Politics

Besides within the La Grange city limits and in a few country clubs, alcohol sales are prohibited in Oldham County.

Oldham is designated as a “moist” county, which means it is not technically a “dry” county.

David Bizianes, executive director of the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce, said the patchwork of alcohol sales rules in the county can be confusing, and slows economic development in the area. That’s why the Chamber wants voters to weigh in.

“Rather than have the county have these pockets where areas are wet and others are moist, let’s try to put together an effort to get this on the ballot and let’s let the people in the county decide whether they want to go wet or stay at the moist status,” he said.

Oldham County voters will decide later this year whether the county should allow alcohol sales countywide.

If approved, Bizianes said moving from a “moist” status to a “wet” status will allow Oldham to experience some of the statewide economic impacts of bourbon tourism, among other things.

“[Oldham’s] proximity to Louisville, it’s great for getting a small town country feel but still being close to the amenities that Louisville has,” Bizianes said. “So, there were a lot of opportunities and people that were looking at Oldham County and thinking, ‘what could be the next stop on the bourbon trail?'”

According to the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 80 of the state’s 120 counties are dry. But many of these counties have cities, towns or precincts where alcohol sales are permitted. Thirty-six counties in Kentucky are designated wet counties — four are moist.

The special election on the issue in Oldham County will be held on Dec. 29. State law doesn’t allow alcohol sales referendums during a primary or general election. The measure requires a simple majority for approval.