In the month of May alone, almost $13,000 was generated from such sales, the web site states. Given that 6 percent of all gross sales of alcohol are taxed, that means that there have been $500,000 in gross sales since late January/early February. The relevant information is available online at www.triggcounty.ky.gov/abc.htm.
“It has already exceeded our expectations and projections in terms of bringing businesses, jobs, revenue and economic growth to Trigg County,” said Ken Culwell, president of Grow Trigg, the organization that petitioned to end prohibition last year.
Culwell said that so far, six new businesses have opened and dozens of others have expanded, and added that about 50 new jobs have been created, and as businesses expand or open, they will be constructing or renovating buildings here.
“And we haven’t hit the heart of the tourism season yet, which would mean more seasonal employees,” Culwell said. “Current estimate is nearly a half-million dollars more has been spent in the construction industry here in Trigg County because of alcohol sales.”
Among the restaurants that have recently renovated is Timbers, which re-opened in May after having been closed for four years. Co-owner Carol Brown said the reason they re-opened is because prohibition was repealed last year.
Brown and other employees of Timbers, located on U.S. 68/Ky. 80 west of Cadiz and near Lake Barkley, said they have done more business than ever and reported long lines of people coming to eat there from as far away as Denmark and American Samoa.
“The community has been fantastic,” Brown said. “And we1ve noticed thattourism has increased on this side of the lake.”
But not everyone in the area has been pleased about the sale of alcohol in the city and county.
Bro. Michael Rust of the Little River Baptist Association was involved in the group Trigg Citizens Against Alcohol last year. He and others in the group argued that the sale of alcohol would have negative social effects for the county and wouldn’t generate as much revenue as Grow Trigg claimed it would.
Rust said that having so many stores and restaurants that sell various kinds of alcohol has had a negative effect on the county already.
“The community didn’t expect to see so many outlets selling alcohol,” said Rust. “And now we’re reaping the ‘benefits.’”
Cadiz Police Chief Hollis Alexander said his department has not seen an increase in arrests for driving under the influence or other alcohol-related calls since sales began.
“Our call volume has not increased at all,” Alexander said. “We fluctuate between four and eight DUIs a month, and that has not changed. Alcohol-related incidents have not changed since the sale of alcohol began.”
Alexander said he does not anticipate the influx of tourists during the summer to cause any change outside of the normal increase.
“We always have an increase in traffic accidents, citations, DUIs, alcohol intoxication and those sorts of things because of the increase in people,” Alexander said.
Trigg County Sheriff Randy Clark was unavailable for comment.
Culwell also said that once all the liquor stores are open and operating, beer licenses have stabilized and more restaurants open and apply for drink licenses, sales will continue to grow and tax revenue will continue to increase.