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Golf course gets Sunday alcohol sales

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Rest of Shepherdsville will remain dry on Sunday

By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Those in Bullitt County looking to get an alcoholic drink on Sunday will soon have that opportunity.

Although the Shepherdsville City Council did not approve Sunday alcohol sales throughout the municipality, the members did vote to allow a small area of the community to serve liquor.

Identical to the vote in July, mayor Sherman Tinnell broke the 3-3 tie and voted against a measure to allow Sunday alcohol sales in restaurants seating at least 100 people and having at least 70 percent of their gross receipts in food sales.

But just moments later, councilmember Margaret Moore opted to vote in favor of a measure to allow U.S. Golf Association certified 18-hole courses in precinct 18A to serve alcohol until 10 p.m. on Sunday.

This is the second time in the past six months for the council to consider the alcohol sales issue on Sunday.

Once again, a large crowd listened to various speakers on both sides of the issue.

"I think we could get better restaurants than we have now if we had Sunday sales," said Clinton Saul. "I believe we need better restaurants."

He didn't favor allowing bars to operate on Sundays but he felt the restaurants could bring in more revenue and more jobs for the city.

Saul didn't think it was fair to allow the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre to be able to sell on Sunday at functions and other businesses were not.

(A special state statute allows tourism facilities to have Sunday sales.)

He didn't see any problem with Heritage Hills having alcohol sales on Sunday. He felt that would draw people to Shepherdsville.

John Underwood moved to the city about 10 years ago and enjoys the community. But he doesn't see the need to add a seventh day to sell alcohol.

"That's God's day," said Underwood. "We don't need any more."

The Rev. Randy Pace said the demographics have not changed to warrant any new restaurants, with or without Sunday alcohol sales.

"There is no groundswell of support for Sunday liquor sales," said Pace.

Duane Price said morals should guide the council.

"The bottom line is what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong," said Price.

He said the council had the opportunity to stand up and not let the country continue to slide.

Price also questioned the need for more restaurants.

"We got plenty of food," said Price. "Almost everybody in here is overweight."

John Bradshaw said alcohol has been the cause of too many accidents and too many deaths every second of every day. Living off Ridge Road, Bradshaw said his family goes past Heritage Hill four times on a Sunday and he didn't want to be subjected to meeting a drunk driver.

Beverly Pace said many churchgoers go out to eat at restaurants each Sunday. She said there was a concern if people couldn't go out to eat without the presence of alcohol.

"God will not bless this town," Pace said if the council approved the alcohol measure.

"One day without alcohol sales is not too much to ask," she added.

Gary McGruder favored the Sunday sales. He pointed to other communities like Bardstown and Elizabethtown that have always been ahead of Shepherdsville in terms of industrial growth and Sunday sales.

And the county is at the beginning of the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky.

McGruder said bars and package liquor businesses are not part of the proposal. And he said no one is forced to go to a restaurant that serves alcohol.

"We need to get with the 21st Century," said McGruder. "Allow people a choice."

Jim Rice said the golf course could be more competitive with surrounding areas in terms of getting corporate outings on a Sunday.

And, in terms of the restaurants, Rice said the added sales are an enticement to help them come to the community.

With so many people working at Beam Distillery and with the company so many tax dollars back to the community, Rice said it was not a religious issue but an opportunity for Shepherdsville to be a more progressive city.

Ted Korfhage, one of the owners of Heritage Hill, said nothing in the Bible spoke about not drinking alcohol on Sunday. Many religions have wine on Sunday as part of the service.

He said it would not affect the bars and package liquor stores. And he said anyone against Sunday sales should not eat during the week at those establishments in other counties that do serve every day of the week.

On the citywide vote, it was once again a 3-3 deadlock.

Councilmember Bonnie Enlow said it would be one more step in giving the devil control if the city approved the Sunday sales.

After 10 years in the towing business, she said there were too many accidents involving alcohol.

Tinnell joined Tony Miller, Margaret Moore and Enlow in voting against the measure. Faith Portman, Stacey Dawson Cline and Trina Summers were in favor.

In terms of the golf course, Moore swung her vote in favor of the measure.

Moore said the Korfhage and Plenge families would no nothing to hurt the community or would make the city ashamed of the decision.

Summers said her vote was to support long-time residents who have a business. Plus, 85 percent of the people in the precinct supported the Sunday sales.

Tinnell said he felt the vote on Monday came too soon after the July proposal. He said he would have voted against the golf course, if given the opportunity, because he would stand behind his convictions.

"We're pleased," Korfhage said of the council's decision.

He really wanted both measures to pass but was pleased that at least a portion of the proposal was approved.

In reality, Korfhage said alcohol sales makes up a very small percentage of the revenue at the golf course and restaurant. However, golfing is a lot about tradition.

Many golfers wouldn't come out on a Sunday because their tradition of golfing a round and then having a beer and analyzing the day's play couldn't happen in Shepherdsville.

If the change brings 8-10 more golfers out on a Sunday, Korfhage said that is a big difference.

And for a course just honored in Golf Digest as being one of the top 10 new facilities in the United States, it can only help.

He doesn't plan to alter the restaurant hours or to change the focus. Korfhage said the golf course is the main focus and the restaurant would not become a bar.

The ordinance must be published and then the change can take effect.