Our final installment: Reviewing the pros and cons of the potential changes with regards to liquor sales in three additional townships in Chester County.

In 1939, like many other municipalities throughout Pennsylvania, voters from East Goshen, Westtown, and Thornbury Townships, voted to go dry. However, the vote on Tuesday, May 15th 2018 will most likely change the current status of alcohol use. In 2006, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board decided that a restaurant attached to a grocery store met the liquor-code requirement, allowing it to sell up to two six-packs of beer. This event, started by Wegmans in Williamsport, set the stage for many stores to follow suit throughout Pennsylvania. The push for change, here in Chester County, has been spearheaded by Giant Food; but it is important to understand, the liquor licenses are not limited to just Giant stores; which leads us to review the pros and cons of allowing liquor licenses in these three townships.

The Pros

  • One step closer to ending the Pennsylvania State Liquor Stores? Many have said, “…the state should get out of the business of selling booze.” Private industry tends to run business better than government.
  • Better selections – With more stores selling competition will create increased selection.
  • Better Prices – Higher volumes equates to lower prices.
  • Convenient access to Beer and Wines – closer to home
  • Local restaurants become more competitive with neighboring “Wet” township businesses.

The Cons

  • Allowing alcohol sales would change the township’s atmosphere.
  • Several residents said that changing the law would go against the latest efforts of raise awareness of substance abuse issues.
  • There are concerned about increased accessibility for juveniles and an already prevalent underage drinking problem.
  • Obtaining a liquor license for small Mom & Pop business is very expensive.
  • Very little tax revenue for townships (via income taxes only)
  • Impact on local government could be costly (aka. higher taxes)
    • Resources will need to be spent on zoning laws and updating local ordinances
    • Code enforcement cost
    • Police department most likely would need to expand
    • Potential increase in ambulatory care

Will the 15th of May, be a day of day of reckoning for those who believe there should be liquor sales in any or all three townships? The voters will make this decision. If you live in one of these townships and you feel strongly one way or the other, this will be your chance to have an impact on the vote. Think clearly and cast your vote.