Whether the petition will lead to a vote is not yet determined. A county-wide vote to repeal prohibition and allow alcohol sales passed by 36 votes Sept. 29, and according to Kentucky’s Alcoholic Beverage Control, voters would be allowed to petition for individual precints to return to dry status. After the election, however, the Kentucky Board of Elections said such a vote would be required to be county-wide.
At the Oct. 19 meeting of the Trigg County Fiscal Court, magistrates decided County Attorney H.B. Quinn should seek a declaratory ruling from the Circuit Court should a petition be turned in. That day, Quinn wrote to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway seeking a ruling on the matter. Conway had not responded as of Tuesday, but Quinn originally said he expected a ruling could take months.
Humphries said a Circuit Judge’s ruling would take precedence over an Attorney General’s ruling.
“We hope it will come relatively quickly, but we don’t know a schedule at this point,” Humphries said. “It’s our desire to resolve this for both groups that are interested and get this portion behind us. If it is allowable, we want to follow the desire of that precinct.”
Montgomery’s petition was submitted Thursday morning by David L. Mossman, Humphries said. The petition, which required 104 signatures (25 percent of voters in the precinct’s last general election), held 151 verified signatures.
In the Sept. 29 vote, Montgomery had a voter turnout of 53.5 percent – 308 of 576 registered voters. Among them, 187 voted “No” and 121 voted “Yes” in response to the question of allowing alcohol sales in the county.
Trigg County Clerk Wanda Thomas described the contents of the Montgomery district as follows: Starting at the Trigg/Christian county line on U.S. 68/Ky. 80, south along the county line to Little River, west along the river to the Ky. 272 bridge, north along an imaginary line to 68/80 at the former Johnson Controls, and east along 68/80 back to the starting point.
That area encompasses Broadbent Square, which currently hosts two gas stations and four restaurants. It does not include the area across the street, which includes a gas station and a restaurant. That area is located in North Cadiz 1.
Mossman, a retired minister, said he and several other residents of the district sought signatures last weekend, with some beginning earlier in the week.
Mossman said he received assistance in gathering signatures from Irvin Darnall and that Darnall is currently circulating a similar petition in the South Cadiz 1 district.
“He told me they’re going to get their precinct moving now,” Mossman said.
Humphries said he anticipates that a ruling in favor of the Montgomery district might result in more districts following with similar action.
“There are additional ones that may look at it,” Humphries said. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Mossman said he was inspired to get involved in this petition by the negative effect he’s seen alcohol have on the lives of others.
“I didn’t get into this because of what the Bible says,” Mossman said. “I’ve seen what alcohol does to families and individuals. My committment to that is what prompted me to get involved in trying to get a re-vote on this. I know people say ‘Grow Trigg,’ but if we have to rely on alcohol to grow, something’s wrong.”