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Thu, Mar 23, 2017 01:39 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
Magoffin County liquor stores may get a reprieve
SALYERSVILLE — Five of the 21 alcohol retailers in Magoffin County who are being billed for seven years of permit fees may not have to pay after all.

State laws indicate that the five stores do not have to pay county permit fees because they are within the Salyersville city limits and have already purchased a city permit.

City officials said the five stores — Rite Aid, C & C Kwik Mart, Speedway, Red Head Oil, and Appco — have current permits to sell beer within the city limits.

An employee of Rite Aid, who asked not to be identified, said the store's corporate office was billed for the retroactive fees and is going to pay the $1,800 bill, even though it had not received a bill since 1995 or 1996.

But other stores in the city are not going along with the fiscal court's demands as easily as Rite Aid.

Linda Casey, public relations officer for Speedway, said the store has received a bill but was not able to comment on whether officials planned to pay it.

Charles Prater, owner of C & C Kwik Mart, said Thursday that he had received a $900 bill for the three years he has been open, but that he was never aware he needed a county permit. Prater said that he had called Deputy Judge-Executive Donna Adams and told her that he did not have to pay for a county and a city permit, but Adams told him he had to pay both.

Prater said that he was not going to pay for the county permit and that fiscal court members would have to have a court order to close his store down, If they tried, he said, he would file suit.

Prater maintains that he called state officials and was told he did not have to pay for the county permit and that the county could not charge him the fees.

Aside from opposition from local alcohol retailers, Judge-Executive Bill W. May met with retired Harlan County Circuit Judge and lawyer Calvin Manis, whose son owns Manis Distributing. Manis said Thursday that he planned to research the issue and see what the statute of limitations is on collecting alcohol permit fees. He said he told May that he would fax his findings to him and County Attorney Don McFarland.

Manis' son, Jim Manis, said Thursday that "times are hard around here anyway, not just for the small businesses but for the larger ones too." He said that his company services all of Eastern Kentucky and usually carries an average of 220 accounts. The number of accounts has dropped to 160, he said, and if Magoffin Fiscal Court shuts down the stores in his county, he will lose 21 more.

Several county retailers maintain that they will not allow the court to close them down.

The deadline for payment was scheduled for today, Friday, but has been extended to June 30 to allow retailers to pay the retroactive fees if they purchase their current license by April 4. Ordinarily, the current license would not have to be obtained until July 1.

Calvin Manis said Thursday that during their meeting, May had agreed to hold off on the deadline until Manis provided information regarding the statute of limitations on fees.

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