Voters in Two Communities Decide Whether to Stay ‘Dry’

UPDATE: Voters in both communities approved the granting of liquor licenses for businesses.

SYLVANIA -- Two municipalities in Bradford County have a question to answer on this Election Day: should businesses in their communities be allowed to sell alcohol?

Those municipalities are North Towanda Township and Sylvania. Both are fairly small communities, and the vote on the ballot questions is expected to be close.

It's hard to miss the sign outside Sylvania Church of Christ on Sylvania Road. It says, "Keep Sylvania Dry," and it is a message to voters from Minister George Ogden.

"I asked the church for permission to put something out there and nobody opposed it," said Ogden.

Ogden is talking about a question on the ballot in Sylvania and also in North Towanda Township. The question asks voters if they want to see alcohol served and sold in these communities.

Tina Losey owns Iron Skillet restaurant in the borough. She says if the referendum passes, she will not sell alcohol.

"Oh, absolutely not, no," said Losey. "I just think there's enough problems with drugs and alcohol in the communities all over the world. We don't need this."

"You have enough news coverage where people have lost their lives, had accidents because of alcohol. I just don't think we need an outlet to sell it in our town," said Ogden.

The owner of B&S Convenience Store started a petition to get the question on the ballot in Sylvania. While some people do not agree with him, others do.

"Personally, no, I don't think it's a big deal, not at all. At least not for this community anyway," said Tom Holley of Sylvania.

Voter turnout isn't expected to be high. There are 120 registered voters in Sylvania and as of 2 p.m., only 14 people voted.

"I talked to the ladies today and they said the presidential election brought out maybe 70 voters and they're expecting somewhere in the 30s today," said Ogden.

Newswatch 16 caught up with borough council member Tanya Seymour after she voted.

"I don't think it is a decision the five of us should be able to make on our own and we needed the support of the people in town to see what they wanted to have done," Seymour explained.

North Towanda Township has the same question on its primary ballot. The petition there was started by a hotel.

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