At the Owensboro city commission meeting on Tuesday, city officials, in an ordinance presented by City Attorney Steve Lynn and City Manager Nate Pagan, discussed their latest step in moving forward with obtaining an entertainment destination center (EDC) liquor license.
Applying for the EDC license means the City’s application will be presented to the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), further establishing the requirements for a licensee to sell alcoholic beverages within the common areas of the EDC, which would include specifically marked areas of downtown Owensboro.
The areas in which the EDC license would be considered include the northernmost area by the Ohio River all the way south through 5th Street to the Miller House restaurant. From east to west, the EDC area would be marked from the Holiday Inn on 2nd Street to J.R. Miller Blvd. on the east.
Areas that have been carved out from allowing alcohol to be carried include Smothers Park and both churches in the aforementioned area — First Baptist Church and Settle Memorial.
City Manager Nate Pagan explained that alcoholic beverages can only be carried for specific events, not at all times. The event’s promoter must provide liability insurance should an event involving injury occur.
“This [EDC license] provides a reasonable step in the evolution of our downtown,” Pagan said.
When Mayor Pro Tem Bob Glenn added that perhaps Shelton Memorial should be excluded from the EDC licensed area, Pagan said the area was certainly adjustable and could be expanded or decreased in size at any given time.
As for an additional police force being needed to monitor the area after the EDC license goes into effect, Owensboro Police Department said they didn’t foresee any issues with adding officers to patrol the downtown area, but that they hadn’t established a specific plan in regard to the implementation of the EDC. However, OPD doesn’t expect to hire more officers because of the EDC license.
“We feel we’re equipped with our staffing we have currently,” said OPD Chief Deputy Jeff Speed.
City officials say the next step in the EDC process is to receive state approval from the ABC commission. Once this occurs, each business in the EDC area will sign their own EDC submission to participate, which is projected to benefit the area economically according to city officials.
Fred Reeves, Director for Downtown, Owensboro, met with the Kentucky ABC earlier this summer, and said things are looking positive for this new development. Reeves feels strongly that everything will go through and that Owensboro will be approved for the EDC license in early 2019.