PUBLIC NOTICES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Notices are shown in chronological order, with the most recent notices shown first. Older notices may be found in the archive at the bottom of this page.

Trustees of Trust Funds - Meeting Cancelled

The meeting of the Trustees of the Trust Funds scheduled for Tuesday, October 14 has been cancelled.  The Trustees will meet again at their regularly scheduled meeting in January.

Sharon is a "dry" town

UPDATE

The questions concerning Sharon's status as a "dry" town appeared on the ballot during November 4, 2014 elections.  Voters overwhelmingly approved the change.  Here are the official voting results:

Question A:  YES 122 -- NO 67
Question B:  YES 135 -- NO 53
Question C:  YES 135 -- NO 53
Question D:  YES 137 -- NO 49


 -----

There have been several communications sent to residents regarding Sharon’s status as a “dry” town.  Although the origin of the status is unclear (it might have been done during Prohibition, or even earlier as part of the temperance movement), the fact is that there are now only three towns in New Hampshire that are still dry:  Ellsworth, Millsfield and Sharon.

Until recently, being a dry town had little impact on Sharon’s residents--we obviously have no place where alcohol could be sold.  However, with the growth of Internet shopping, an increasing number of people are ordering beer and wine from their favorite brewery/vineyard and asking that it be delivered to their home.  The problem is that shipments to homes in Sharon cannot be made because of our status as a dry town.  Yes, we know the shipments are sometimes made, but technically and legally, it is not supposed to happen.

The state has implemented a process (RSA 663:5) the allows towns to vote on whether to change their status.  Obviously, most towns have done so, long ago.  For example, the most recent votes in surrounding towns took place in Temple and Hancock in 1964.  Yes, 1964.

During voting last March, following the procedure outlined in the RSA, a petition was available to Sharon residents asking if they wished to have the opportunity to vote on the issue.  A total of 70 registered voters signed the petition, far more than the required 5%.  Again following the provisions of the RSA, that petition was forwarded to the Secretary of State who has placed the question on the ballot that you will see when you vote on November 4.

But, like most things bureaucratic and legal, the wording of the questions that will appear on the ballot is complicated and confusing.  Here is a brief explanation of what the votes mean on each of the questions:

(a) "Shall state stores be operated by permission of the state liquor commission in this city or town?''

This is pretty obvious.  A YES vote would allow the state liquor commission to build and operate a state liquor store in Sharon.  But we all know that will likely never happen given our exceptionally small population, our lack of a commercial/retail district, and the fact that there are already large state stores in Peterborough, Jaffrey and Rindge.

(b) "Shall malt beverages (beer) be sold by permission of the state liquor commission in this city or town?''

The wording is confusing, but a YES vote on this question would allow vendors to sell malt beverages (beer) to Sharon residents and have it shipped to their home.  This issue (along with the similar issue in the next question) is what precipitated going through the process to get these questions before the voters.  A number of residents have shared that they have attempted to have beer or wine delivered to their home, but the sale was refused because of Sharon’s status as a dry town.

(c) "Shall wines containing not less than 6 percent nor more than 15.5 percent of alcoholic content by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit (table wine) be sold by permission of the state liquor commission in this city or town?''

Similar to question (b), a YES vote on this question would allow vendors to sell wine to Sharon residents and have it shipped to their home.  

(d) "Shall liquor be sold for consumption on the premises where sold by permission of the state liquor commission in this city or town?''

This question asks if residents wish to allow for the sale of liquor at restaurants, taverns, or other places where it is consumed on premise.  Sharon has had several taverns in its history (see chapter five of Sliptown, by Thorn King).  However, our current zoning regulations do not permit those establishments, so any potential business would need to go through the Zoning Board of Adjustment for approval.  This would obviously entail public hearings where residents could voice their opinions.  Further, the establishment would also need to obtain a liquor license issued by the state liquor commission.  In other words, a YES vote on this question does not automatically allow for the operation of a tavern or restaurant.

-----

This information will be available at the polls during election day (Sharon Meeting House, Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 11:00 am to 7:00 PM).  In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact:
Chet Bowles
Sharon Town Administrator
924-9901 or sharon03458@gmail.com.