By Keith Kappes - Publisher
March 26, 2014 — Both of the state parks located in Carter County could end up selling alcoholic beverages later this year on the basis of a law passed last week by the Kentucky General Assembly.
House Bill 475, now awaiting the signature of Gov. Steve Beshear to become law, would permit local option elections in currently dry precincts which contain a state park.
Carter Caves State Resort Park on KY 182 is part of the Pleasant Valley precinct. Grayson Lake State Park on KY 7 is located in Pleasant Hill precinct.
If a majority of voters in either or both of those precincts agree, the respective parks would be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages by the drink at their restaurants and/or golf courses.
Carter Caves has a lodge and full-service restaurant. Grayson Lake State Park has a golf course but no restaurant at the present time.
Neither of the park managers – Chris Perry at Carter Caves or Steve Kennedy at Grayson Lake – was available for comment on Tuesday.
The bill’s sponsors said the measure was designed to increase revenue at state parks because of six years of state budget cuts.
HB 475 passed the House, 65-30, with Rep. Jill York, R-Grayson, voting against it.
The bill later cleared the Senate, 31-7, with Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, voting in favor.
Beshear is expected to sign the bill which would become effective in mid-July.
If either park goes “wet”, it would become the fourth place in Carter County where the legal sale of alcoholic beverages would be allowed.
Iron Hill precinct voted in 2008 to allow Rock Springs Winery to sell its own wine on the premises.
Grayson legalized alcohol in June 2013 and has issued retail beer licenses. Package liquor licenses are delayed because of appeals filed by applicants refused a license.
Olive Hill voted earlier this month to permit such sales but has yet to adopt an ordinance to regulate alcoholic beverages.
House Bill 475 also is historic in that it is the first time that a government entity has been authorized to hold licenses to sell alcoholic beverages.
Keith Kappes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at at (800) 247-6142.