Conneaut Lake group tries again for ballot question on booze sales

By Jean Shanley
Meadville Tribune

February 18, 2019

CONNEAUT LAKE — The Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee is hoping the third time will be a charm.

Members of the CLCDC are circulating petitions to have a question be put on the May primary ballot to allow the sale of alcohol in the borough.

Currently, the borough is “dry,” meaning no alcohol may be sold in the borough limits. The numerous locations surrounding Conneaut Lake that sell beer are not within Conneaut Lake borough limits.

This will be the third attempt the CLCDC has tried to allow alcohol to be sold in the borough.

The last time, in 2015, the vote was 63-57 against that move. The first time the CLCDC tried was in 2011 when the vote was 84-64 against the sale of alcohol.

Bill Eldridge, chairman of the CLCDC, said the purpose of allowing alcohol sales is for economic development. The CLCDC is the group that has spearheaded a multi-million dollar revitalization project on Fireman’s Beach and Water Street.

By not permitting the sale of alcohol in Conneaut Lake borough, it puts businesses and potential businesses at a disadvantage. Alcohol sales increase employment and the value of a business, Eldridge said.

Although this is the third attempt by the CLCDC to change the law, this could be the fifth time the issue is on the ballot. Decades prior to the CLCDC’s push, the issue was on the ballot twice — losing both times.