Perryville to vote Oct. 4 on whether to allow alcohol sales

Residents of the western Boyle County city of Perryville will vote Oct. 4 on whether to allow alcohol sales in the city limits.

Approval of the ballot measure would allow packages sales but no bars, said Mike Lankford, a Perryville resident who led an effort to collect signatures for a petition drive.

The other two incorporated cities in Boyle County, Danville and Junction City, allow alcohol sales. Unincorporated areas of the county remain dry.

A law that went into effect July 15 allows cities of all sizes to determine whether to be wet or dry. Before Senate Bill 11 passed, cities of fewer than 3,000 residents could not hold a local election to determine wet or dry status separately from their counties. Perryville has fewer than 800 residents within the city limits, according to a Census Bureau estimate.

Lankford said some local people who were interested in alcohol sales came to him and asked him to chair a committee to gather signatures for a petition drive to put the measure on the ballot.

“They said, ‘We think we could use this new law in Perryville for some business development,’” Lankford said. “I happened to agree. ... It’s a great place to live; a hard place to earn a living.”

So they formed a group called the Perryville for Progress Committee for Alcohol Sales and began gathering signatures for a petition. They needed 47 signatures but gathered more than twice that many.

Lankford said package sales would help two convenience stores in Perryville.

“I want them to stay in business because they’re the only place to buy gasoline in town,” Lankford said.

There is no restaurant in Perryville, but Lankford said “there’s a guy who said he will open one if he had the alcohol sales.”

If voters approve the measure, alcohol sales would not be allowed at Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, which is outside the city limits.

Lankford is a Perryville native who was formerly with the Cork ’N Cleaver restaurant chain, which was later sold to the Chart House seafood chain.