By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
March 12, 2014 — In Tuesday’s local option election, Olive Hill citizens voted in favor of allowing the legal sale of alcoholic beverages within the city limits for the first time since 1937.
The final tally, including eight absentee ballots, was 257 “yes” votes in favor and 206 “no” votes in opposition, with four precincts voting in favor of legalization, and the Clark Hill precinct had no votes cast.
Total turnout for the local option election was 463, or 39 percent of those registered.
No issues were reported at the Senior Community Center which served as the polling location for all five city precincts due to school being in session at West Carter Middle School—the normal polling venue for Olive Hill voters.
Voters in Olive Hill last took to the polls regarding alcoholic beverage sales in 1971 alongside Grayson, both of whom voted to remain “dry” in separate elections.
With Tuesday’s vote in favor of legalized sales, Olive Hill now joins Grayson and the Iron Hill precinct near Carter City as the only legal locations where alcoholic beverages can be purchased in Carter County.
Olive Hill City Council will have 60 days to draft an ordinance to regulate sales within the city limits.
Additionally, Council must appoint an individual to serve as the city’s alcoholic beverage control administrator.
The question of alcohol sales cannot be placed on a ballot in Olive Hill again for at least three years under state law.
Joe Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 286-4201.