VICCO — On July 27, the Vicco City Commission struck-down an ordinance to legalize alcohol sales on Sundays within Vicco’s city limits. The resolution’s first reading received approval from the City Commission a couple of weeks ago. At least two readings of proposed resolutions must take place before local governments can officially pass them into law. With this particular ordinance, the vote following the second reading produced the exact opposite result as the vote following the first reading.
According to Vicco Mayor Johnny Cummings, the City Government decided to strike-down the ordinance because a considerable portion of people in the Vicco community expressed opposition to the proposal. Several citizens attended Wednesday’s City Commission meeting to voice their opinions about Sunday sales. The Vicco area is home to numerous churches and a large Christian population.
“This gives me hope,” said Cummings, “Seeing all the people who came to the meeting to talk about what they think is right for Vicco. This is what we need because it’s going to take us working together as one community to move Vicco forward.”
The atmosphere remained civil. Folks, who gathered at the meeting in protest to the resolution, were pleased with the Commission’s willingness to hear their views and openness to act in a manner they felt represented their people. Ronald Davidson was among the members of the public voicing opposition to Sunday sales at the City Commission meeting. Davidson is the pastor of the Vicco Worship Center. Following the City Commission’s vote, Davidson told WYMT,
“We’re tired of being maybe the lead on a lot of things that’s what we think is ungodly and wrong, and I thank Johnny and the Commission for taking a stand and standing with the Church and the people today. I think that was a real step in the right direction.”
Most of the metro areas in Kentucky, including Lexington, allow Sunday alcohol sales. Sunday sales are also legal to the east of us in the State of Virginia. However, with the passage of this ordinance, Vicco would have become the only district in Southeastern Kentucky to allow alcohol sales on Sunday since the Prohibition of the 1920s.
Although discussion continues about the possibility of Sunday alcohol sales county-wide, a resolution on the matter has yet to go before the Perry County Fiscal Court. Alcohol has been a hot topic in the mountains throughout the summer. Earlier this month, the citizens of Breathitt County voted to become a wet district. The town of Benham recently legalized alcohol sales by the drink at local historical sites, which attract an abundance of tourists to the town. Benham’s new ordinance also came through a vote by its citizens. The people of Benham voted 80 percent in favor of the measure.
In Eastern Kentucky, it is almost unheard of for alcohol policy to be enacted without a vote by the citizens. Such an action was strongly considered in Vicco, but in the end, Vicco’s government did what is customary for our culture and let the people decide what the rules for alcohol shall be.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.