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Taylorsville looks at becoming a 4th class city

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By Robin Bass

Some Taylorsville restaurants could be allowed to serve liquor by-the-drink, if commissioners are able to re-classify the town as a fourth-class city. The classification would also permit the city to have its own Alcohol Beverage Control administrator.

Commissioners hope to review a draft resolution outlining their request at the next meeting. In order to become a fourth-class city, legislation would have to be approved by the Kentucky General Assembly.

“My understanding is that there is not much difference as far as authority or additional powers,” said City Attorney Dudley Dale, who was asked by commissioners to draw up the resolution. “Basically, all it’s going to allow is mixed drinks.”

Kentucky statutes divide cities and towns into six classes based on population. According to the 2000 U.S Census, Taylorsville’s population was 1,009 -- barely placing it in the 1,000 to 2,999 range of a fifth-class city. Even when a city experiences population increases, it does not automatically change classes. Only an act of the General Assembly can make reassignments.

“There’s an issue from a factual standpoint that our population greatly increases during the day,” said Taylorsville City Clerk Steve Biven. Just the number of students and teachers in the city limits during the school day could make that number jump by 2,000. Add in weekend lake traffic and Taylorsville could easily fall into the 3,000 to 7,999 range of a fourth-class city.

“We’re a lot bigger city than the older information would indicate,” said Biven, who added that commissioners were responding to requests from constituents.

Biven said the commission is still in the information gathering stage and has not made the decision to move forward with the resolution or find a state legislator to introduce a bill on their behalf. However, he said at this point there does not seem to be a downside to the move.

“It will give us more options in regards to economic development,” said Biven.

Commission Jack Proctor said that becoming a fourth-class city would not only create tax revenue advantages, but it would also help with obtaining grants to improve the city.

“It moves us up the totem pole,” he said. “If we can get this done, it could be such a boom to our county. We’ve got a lot of people looking at us right now and one of these days we’re going to bust out of the cocoon.”

Becoming classified as a fourth-class city would allow the mayor to appoint an ABC administrator for Taylorsville, who would oversee alcohol license applications.

According to KRS 242.127, a fourth-class city where prohibition has been abolished may hold a local option election for the sale of distilled spirits by the drink.