May said the election results would be certified this morning, and, according to Nathan Jones from the Kentucky Alcohol Beverage Control, liquor licenses can be awarded 60 days after that process is complete.
As precinct results rolled in Tuesday night at the Garrard County Courthouse, the buzz of excitement grew. May and her deputy clerks worked feverishly to copy the totals from the voting machines and taped them up in the lobby one-by-one for the public and media to read.
With his own pen, pad and calculations, Lancaster Mayor Don Rinthen was among those eager to learn the outcome. Once the results were in, Rinthen reflected on what he thought was a great day for Lancaster.
"I have to say that, yes, I'm very happy," said Rinthen. "My biggest point from today is that the citizens have had a chance to come out and vote, and they have voted."
Rinthen said his focus now is on doing everything according to plan and legally. Once everything is verified, Rinthen said he will invite representatives from ABC to come in and train city officials.
Typically, when a city approves alcohol sales, the mayor either appoints a local ABC coordinator to act as a liaison between the state branch and the city, or acts in that capacity himself. Rinthen said he's chosen to perform those duties until the city council appoints otherwise.
"We want to do everything by law and within KRS statues. That's where we go from here," Rinthen explained.
"I don't think there will be any major changes in a short period of time. What I'm hoping for is long-term economic growth. This is about future opportunities for Lancaster and Garrard County. People aren't going to wake up tomorrow morning and see liquor stores being built. This will be a long-term effect that will take some time."
'This is a defining and historic moment for Lancaster'
Garrard County Economic Development Director Nathan Mick , who facilitated the petition to get the issue on the ballot, spent Tuesday evening renovating his house and removing wallpaper, patiently waiting for an announcement.
"This is a defining and historic moment for Lancaster. The legalization opens up a new set of doors for economic growth," said Mick.
"The turnout was really overwhelming. I think it was great to see a large number of voters being able to communicate their interest in the election. This was a great opportunity for the community."
Mick said with legalized alcohol sales he now has a new set of tools to use at his job.
"We want people to know Lancaster is open for business.
"Obviously, there's a large number of people who want to see change and growth in Lancaster, and this is a big day for them. This is a win for our industrial park, Grand Theater, potential restaurants, and an overall win for economic development," he said, adding he hopes the vote brings the opportunity for a new full-service grocery store to Lancaster.
Mick also pointed out that Lancaster will now be the southernmost place on U.S. 27 with packaged liquor stores before the Tennessee state line. That factor, said Mick, will add up to many people from other counties traveling through Lancaster and spending their money in Garrard County, something that is "fine by us," Mick said.
"This puts Lancaster back on the map."
Someone who didn't share in Rinthen and Mick's sense of victory for the city of Lancaster was Michael York, interim pastor at Lancaster Baptist Church.
York served as spokesman for CALL - Citizens Against Legalized Liquor - a group opposed to alcohol sales.
"My initial reaction is that I'm very disappointed. We've said all along that we just want the best for Lancaster, but apparently the voters feel differently than I do," he said.
The pastor said, however, this is one situation in which he would love to be proven wrong.