People in Guthrie will not have to leave the city, county or state to buy alcohol in the near future, following the results of a special election Tuesday.

Residents voted overwhelmingly to expand alcohol sales in the city, with 196 votes cast in favor of the change and 62 against.

“I think the people spoke,” Mayor Scott Marshall said Tuesday night from his home. “This was the people’s choice. … It was a positive step, and should improve the revenue for the city.”

Restaurants could already sell alcohol in Guthrie, as long as they could seat more than 100 people and earned at least 70 percent of their revenue from the sale of food. No restaurants currently meet the requirements.

However, with the newly-approved expansion, Marshall believes money will stay in the area while outside businesses could be more interested in moving to the city.

Both Marshall and Todd County Clerk Kim Chapman were impressed with the voter turnout; only 80 more people voted in Marshall’s mayoral election in 2010.

“Here it is in October — it’s a beautiful day, a harvest day — and there’s nothing else attached to it,” Marshall said.

Around midday, Chapman said 100 ballots had been cast at the fire department, with approximately another 20 accepted at city hall. She said it was the first special election she could remember during her nearly 16 years in office.

Legal approval is still needed before sales can begin in the county, Marshall said. After the certification process and required 60-day waiting period, he anticipated sales could begin sometime around the start of the new year.

REACH DAVE BOUCHER at 270-887-3262 or dboucher@kentuckynewera.com.

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