FREDERICKTOWN — Known historically as a dry town, Fredericktown does not have any place where it is legal to buy alcoholic beverages. That could change after the May election, if an option on the ballot is approved by village residents.
An option to sell beer, wine and mixed beverages for carry-out only at the Fredericktown Market on South Main Street will appear on the ballot. According to Kim Horn, director of the Knox County Board of Elections, the local option received the required 131 signatures to be placed on the ballot in Fredericktown’s C precinct, which covers the area of the village directly surrounding the Fredericktown Market.
The Fredericktown Market has requested two permits, according to Horn. One to sell beer, wine and mixed beverages for carry-out Monday through Saturday, and one to sell the same products for carry-out on Sunday. The option, if approved, would make the sale of such beverages legal only at the one site and nowhere else in town.
Horn said the 131 signatures were based on a required 35 percent of the votes cast for governor in the 2006 election in the Fredericktown C precinct.
The owner of Fredericktown Market, Mark Agner, said the store was requesting the permit in response to customer suggestions.
“Our customers have been requesting that we get beer or wine into the store,” he said. “They don’t like having to drive to Mount Vernon.”
Horn said a consulting firm from Columbus handled the process for obtaining signatures.
“[Agner] had an agent who specializes in how do this,” Horn said, adding that this is the usual procedure for such an option.
Horn said such options historically have failed on Fredericktown ballots. The last one was in 1983 for the sale of beer. Before that, options on the 1972 and 1951 ballots also failed.
Agner referred questions about the option to Henry Fein, an attorney with Promotional Services Group. LLC, which obtained the signatures. Fein said his firm handles such options for many Ohio businesses, including grocery stores, restaurants, convenience store gas stations, golf courses and country clubs.
Fein said the permits requested in the option are for carry-out only at one specific site, the Fredericktown Market. It would remain illegal to sell alcoholic beverages at any other store or restaurant anywhere else in Fredericktown.