JUNCTION CITY — Voters in Junction City approved the sale of alcohol by three votes Tuesday.
The vote was 198 to 195, according to the Boyle County Clerk's Office. Two of the three city precincts voted in favor of expanded sales.
The vote means Junction City will be allowed to have package liquor stores that sell wine and distilled spirits, and to have the sale of beer by the package or by the drink.
Temporary licenses for beer, wine and spirit sales also will be permitted for events, such as festivals and carnivals.
However, retail liquor drink licenses, issued for the consumption of spirits or wine on the premises of a bar or restaurant, will not be allowed. Junction City could either hold another local-option election to allow that, or the city could enact an "economic hardship" ordinance to permit limited liquor and wine drink sales at restaurants that maintain 50 percent of food sales and have seating for 100 people at tables.
Junction City, with a population of 2,421, becomes the second city in Boyle County to allow alcohol sales.
In 2002, Danville voters approved alcohol by the drink in larger restaurants. Then, in March 2010, Danville voters approved the expansion of alcohol sales to include bars and liquor stores.
Ron Pemberton, a Junction City retiree who filed the petition for the election, was pleased by the final tally.
"We needed a level playing field with Danville," Pemberton said. "We need to grow the city, and this is a major component."
Tuesday's vote was possible because a law passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Steve Beshear in March reclassified Junction City from a fifth-class to a fourth-class city. Cities of the first, second, third or fourth class can vote separately from a county to determine whether to permit the sale of alcoholic beverages.
It will be at least 60 days before alcohol sales can begin in Junction City.
Perryville and unincorporated areas of Boyle County still prohibit the sale of alcohol.
Also last night, voters in three Hardin County cities voted to legalize or expand alcoholic-beverage sales in separate elections.
The measures passed Tuesday by about a 3-to-2 ratio in all three cities, The News-Enterprise reported. Elizabethtown voted 3,051 yes to 2,021 no, Radcliff's totals were 1,567 yes to 1,025 no, and Vine Grove tallied 475 yes to 328 no.
Vine Grove and Elizabethtown, fourth-class cities, will not be able to establish bars. Radcliff is a second-class city and could offer all types of alcoholic-beverage establishments permissible under state law.
Radcliff and Elizabethtown already permitted alcohol sales in restaurants with 100 or more seats; other liquor sales are now allowed.
Alcohol sales also were being considered Tuesday in Guthrie in Western Kentucky.