The Milton City Commission discussed alcohol sales and partisan elections during its regular meeting on Thursday, March 9.

Commissioner Lee Carson asked the Milton City Council to consider making Milton a wet city.

Carson said he’d received questions from residents about making Milton wet. Currently, Milton is a dry city, meaning the sale of alcohol is prohibited within city limits. Alcohol can be purchased elsewhere in Trimble County, including the city of Bedford.

“Every county around us is wet,” Carson said. “Every store around us is wet. [Residents] would like the opportunity to be wet.”

Carson said he spoke with the Trimble County Sheriff’s Office and Kentucky State Police and was told that wet towns and counties typically saw fewer arrests for driving under the influence, possibly because people don’t have to drive as far to their homes after purchasing alcohol.

Mayor Denny Jackson requested the council take time to think before discussing alcohol laws at a later meeting. Carson agreed and encouraged his fellow commissioners to research the issue.

The commissioners and mayor unanimously voted to approve a resolution opposing SB 50 and HB 50. Both bills would require all city offices, including mayor and city commissioners, to have partisan primaries and elections. The bills would also require partisan elections for school board candidates, county commissioners and soil and water conservation officers.

The resolution approved by the council emphasized the home rule nature of the city of Milton. As a home rule city, the Milton City Commission has the power to enact partisan elections. The resolution, based on a template from Kentucky League of Cities (KLC), opposed a state-wide mandate and said the option to have partisan elections for city positions should be left up to individual cities based on home rule authority.

According to the resolution, only six of 415 cities in the state have partisan elections and primaries.

Mark Bates presented the field supervisor’s report to the city council. According to Bates, the city is in need of several new pieces of equipment as the current tools are showing signs of significant wear.

Bates said the city’s backhoe is approximately 20 years old, and although it still works, the time is coming to replace it with a machine that can last another 20 years. A new backhoe could cost $55,000 to $75,000 depending on the model, according to Bates.

The city will also need a new horizontal boring machine for work under roads and sidewalks. Bates estimated the city’s machine is around 25 years old and said it would cost less to replace the current machine than to try to repair it. Replacing the horizontal boring machine is estimated to cost the city about $7,000, but Bates said the cost is a necessity. Currently, city employees have been borrowing horizontal boring machines from Trimble County Water and Carrollton Utilities.

Bates said his team completed well inspections last month in Milton and that he received approval to start the city’s sewer system project. He said he spoke with the Trimble County Judge-Executive about receiving funding from the county for the sewer project.

The next regular meeting of the commission will be Thursday, April 13 at 7 p.m. in the Milton Municipal Building.