Fire Company Hopes Ballot Question Will Allow Alcohol Sales

UNION TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A question on the ballot for some folks in Union County is drawing debate: should Union Township vote to allow the sale of alcohol in the community.

Union Township has been a dry municipality since the 1930s. The volunteer fire company is trying to change that, so businesses can sell alcohol at their future fundraisers.

"Our biggest fundraiser right now is our outdoor gun and bingo," said firefighter Greg Wagner, treasurer and member of the fundraising committee for the fire company.

Wagner tells us until recently Union Township also relied on its annual carnival.

"Carnivals have died down. The last carnival we did, some of it was weather driven, but we made like $6,000 in three nights of work with three weeks of preparation to get ready."

About half of the fire company's budget is made through fundraisers. This company has been on the search for a new event.

"Somebody decided about two years ago we should try to do a wine and cheese festival," said Wagner.

Union Township has been a dry community since the 1930s and that will need to change if the fire company wants to hold the event.

Recently, members of the company worked to get a new yes or no question on the primary election ballot. Voters will decide if Union Township will go wet, allowing the sale of alcohol.

Volunteers at the fire company spent a few days collecting over 130 signatures to get the question on the ballot. People we spoke with in Union Township tell us on Election Day they'll be voting for the change.

"Mainly because of the revenue catch. I would like to see this fire company grow and do well," said resident Matthew Sherwood.

"When they have their dinners, chicken barbeques, and stuff, most everybody goes down there and buys the food, so I would think they would do the same thing with wine and cheese, especially the younger people," added resident Thomas Hunter.

"There's one or two people that are not happy. I'm certain there are more. It's not like we are trying to put a bar room in our social hall. We are looking to do a one-day event a year. Hopefully, we can get it worked out for us," Wagner added.

If the sale of alcohol is approved, the fire company hopes to hold its first wine and cheese festival by the fall of 2020.


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