By Kristin Bednarski
Residents in Amelia will have the opportunity to change the liquor laws in the village when they vote on an issue that will be on the ballot Nov. 6.
If passed, the issue would enable liquor sales by the glass in the village of Amelia, which already allows liquor sales by the bottle.
Amelia Councilman Bob Pollitt spearheaded the petition process as a resident, not a council member, to get the issue on the ballot.
He said the process involved piles of paperwork, dozens of signatures and a lot of talking.
“It was a chore,” Pollitt said about the process. “I started in June.”
Pollitt said that eventually, with the help of a few people, he was able to accomplish it and the issue was placed on the November election ballot for all precincts in the village of Amelia.
Pollitt said he wanted to get the special election petition on the ballot to help the village bring in more revenue and become more successful.
“With the town being dry, we’re up against a wall with any growth in the village,” he said.
Pollitt said while liquor sales by the bottle are permitted in the village, drink-by-the-glass liquor sales are prohibited.
“Amelia is technically a dry town,” Pollitt said. “You can buy it by the bottle but not by the glass. This petition is basically to sell liquor by the glass and Sunday sales.”
Pollitt said higher-end restaurants won’t consider building in towns that do not permit by-the-glass liquor sales.
“The more restaurants the more revenue,” Pollitt said.
He said it is likely other business would follow if additional restaurants came to the village.
Stacy Dickerson, an Amelia resident, has been helping Pollitt spread the word about the petition.
Dickerson said since she has been talking with residents about the special election petition, many had no idea about the current regulations.
“They were shocked,” Dickerson said. “They thought that because you could buy beer in the village that we were not dry. They didn’t understand the difference in buying it by the bottle and not by the glass.”
Dickerson said that she is not a big drinker, but she would love to have a nice restaurant in the village so she doesn’t have to drive to Eastgate or Anderson Township.
“It’s something that is needed to be able to bring in those restaurants,” Dickerson said about the liquor law change. “A lot of people would love to have an Applebee’s or a nice steakhouse.”
Pollitt said a funny twist in the story is that his grandfather was actually one of the men who voted the town dry years ago.
“He was mayor twice in the 20s and 30s,” Pollitt said. “He voted the town dry in the late 30s.”
Pollitt said back then there used to be a saloon at each end of town. He said now, the village has grown and changed, and enabling drink-by-the-glass liquor sales would help spur even more growth.
“What went through my mind is the fact that it is available and could create other business,” Pollitt said. “A lot could be brought in, not because they sell liquor, but because the licenses are here for the taking.”