A liquor referendum, prompted by Giant Food Stores, will appear on Cleona Borough’s ballots for the May 21 primary elections.

The question will appear on primary ballots, including a non-partisan absentee ballot which was approved by the Lebanon County Board of Elections on April 4, reads, “Do you favor the granting of liquor licenses for the sale of liquor in Cleona Borough, Lebanon County?”

Accompanying the ballot question will be the following plain-English statement explaining the referendum:

Under Pennsylvania law, voters have the right to choose whether liqour licenses may be granted to businesses within their borders. Currently, Cleona Borough is a “dry” borough. This means that businesses with the Borough are currently not allowed to obtain liquor licenses.

This ballot question, if approved by voters, would authorize the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to grant liquor licenses for the sale of beer, wine, and spirits to qualified restaurants, taverns, hotels, clubs, grocery stores, and other establishments within Cleona Borough. Should this question be approved, the number of licensed establishments located within Cleona Borough and a business’s eligibility to obtain a license will be subject to the quota provisions of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and the approval of the Liquor Control Board, respectively.

A ballot including the above statement will also be available in Spanish.

The referendum comes as a result of a petition spearheaded by Giant Food Stores over their desire to place a beer cafe within their current store at the Cleona Square shopping complex at 481 W. Penn Avenue in Cleona.

On a related note, the last day to register to vote for the primary elections is April 22. The primary election will be held May 21.