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Debate rises over Georgetown Sunday liquor sales

GEORGETOWN — The debate regarding Sunday alcohol sales in Georgetown was renewed Monday evening after the issue was dropped last year in the face of much opposition.

"Sunday alcohol sales, I think, is a necessity," said Mark Davis who said he spent more than decade in restaurant management.

Davis said he wished someone would review the amount of money leaving Georgetown because diners are driving to Lexington on Sundays. He was the first of four people who support the ordinance to address the council Monday. Two people spoke against the ordinance.

Georgetown's ordinance would permit Sunday alcohol sales at restaurants between 1 p.m. and midnight. The ordinance could bring $12,000 to $15,000 additional revenue to a city that has been struggling with a $2.6 million budget deficit.

But the additional revenue isn't worth the lives that may be at stake, argued Horace Hambrick, a Georgetown pediatrician.

"I have seen the broken bones, the broken spirits and the broken lives," Hambrick said. "The decision to legalize Sunday alcohol sales is a poor, short-sighted, economically selfish and unsound decision."

He said he would never vote for a council member who votes to legalize Sunday alcohol sales and contends there are thousands who agree with his sentiments.

The issue was dropped last year after council member Chad Wallace withdrew his support of the ordinance. Council members Larry Prather and Mark Showalter are now sponsoring the ordinance.

James Snyder of Georgetown said he presented the council with a petition including signatures of nearly 700 people who support the ordinance.

"It's time to stop the flow of money from Georgetown to Lexington," Alan Ritchie told the council. He said the ordinance would be good for the city, businesses and people in the community.

Wallace Williams, interim pastor at Georgetown Baptist Church, said he enjoys Georgetown because of its close proximity to Lexington while not trying to imitate Lexington.

Williams asked the council, "Have you ever been hit by a drunk driver?" He said voting for Sunday alcohol sales would increase that chance.

A supporter told the council that the current economy might require that they make tough decisions

The Georgetown City Council will hold a second reading of the ordinance during its next meeting in March.

Golf carts

The Georgetown City Council tabled an ordinance that would allow golf carts on some city streets with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less and within five miles of a golf course.

The council wants to review safety statistics from other communities where golf carts are prevalent.

A handful of residents spoke against the golf cart ordinance, which supporters say would allow residents to save gas money while running errands, during the meeting on Monday.

"We have a collision everyday," one man said. "Can you imagine an SUV versus a golf cart?"

Mark Davis of Georgetown said he would prefer not to deface his cart with the safety flag that is required for visibility if the ordinance passes.