Letter to the editor: Going wet sparked Danville economy with plenty of new growth

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As a former commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Local Government, I am familiar with the Owen County’s community leadership.
As a descendant of an Owen County family who migrated to my native Calloway County in the 1830s, I appreciate Owen County’s history.
As president/CEO of the Danville/Boyle County Economic Development Partnership, I understand the challenge of development in a county on the U.S. 127 corridor distant from interstate access.
I wish to provide my perspective on Danville’s recent success in expanding alcohol sales.
In 2009, a community task force recommended a local option election to expand alcohol sales in Danville. The task force found that Danville’s existing ordinance impeded options, increased costs, and inhibited viability for restaurant, hotel, and entertainment development, particularly in the downtown business district.
With strong economic justification, a civic committee led a referendum campaign that succeeded with 54 percent of the vote on March 4, 2010. That campaign was focused on saying “yes” to recruiting more business opportunities and retaining consumer dollars and tax revenues in our own community.
Since then, four new restaurants, a boutique spirit shop, and a microbrewery have opened for business in downtown Danville. Three more restaurants and another microbrewery are planned.
Danville will soon be home to the only Liquor Barn party goods/gourmet foods store in Kentucky outside the Louisville, Lexington, or Cincinnati metro areas.
All of these developments represent significant capital investment and job creation in Danville, with consumer expenditures and tax revenues being retained locally.

Jody A. Lassiter