Now it’s up to Frankfort.
At Tuesday’s Bowling Green City Commission meeting, commissioners unanimously approved applying to the state for an Entertainment Destination Center license, paving the way for the open carry of alcohol in a portion of downtown at certain times.
The application was approved on a first, nonbinding reading last month.
The EDC would encompass much of downtown Bowling Green and is aimed to “grow commerce” in the city’s downtown, where the city has invested millions in renovation projects in recent years, according to Mayor Todd Alcott.
The districts are allowed through state legislation enacted in 2016 that aimed to boost visitors to downtowns. Owensboro, Newport, Covington, Paducah and others have already established Entertainment Destination Centers.
While Bowling Green officials have been discussing an EDC here for years, it was only after numerous stakeholder meetings and discussion that the city has jumped onboard.
While some residents and business owners raised concerns about litter, crime and noise issues, the vast majority of stakeholders surveyed by the city and who spoke at commission meetings were in favor of a Bowling Green EDC.
The current EDC plan calls for it to only be used on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in an area from Sixth to 11th avenues and Kentucky to Chestnut streets. The proposed area encompasses Bowling Green Ballpark, the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center and Circus Square and Fountain Square parks.
The drinks would have to be carried in approved cups sold by participating businesses with their own alcohol license. Businesses aren’t required to participate in the EDC.
City Attorney Hillary Hightower said the next step for the application is publishing a public notice of the city’s intent to file for the license in the Daily News.
Once the application goes to Frankfort, “the state has 30 days to respond,” she said. “The hope is that by mid to late June we will be ready to go.”
Also Tuesday, commissioners approved:
- conveying land in the Kentucky Transpark to Envision AESC. It was announced last month that Envision would be investing $2 billion for a 3 million-square-foot plant on more than 500 acres for building electric vehicle batteries.
The plant is slated to eventually employ 2,000 workers, and the news marked the largest economic development project announcement in the history of southcentral Kentucky and the second-largest ever in Kentucky.
- a bid of $360,931 from C&C Contracting of Russellville to replace the city’s salt shed and salt bay structure at the public works facility on Lapsley Lane.
– Follow Managing Editor Wes Swietek on Twitter @WesSwietek or visit bgdaily news.com.