- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

BRIDGEWATER, Conn. (AP) - Residents of Connecticut’s last dry town are going to decide whether to get a little wet.

A referendum in Bridgewater is scheduled for Feb. 25 to decide whether the town will continue to ban all alcohol sales or allow them in restaurants. If voters choose the second option, they will end Prohibition in town 81 years after the repeal of the 18th Amendment allowed alcohol sales to resume nationwide.

The ballot question is in response to plans to allow alcohol sales at two new restaurants in town. First Selectman Curtis Read said the issue has not come up much in the past because there were not proposals to open restaurants.

Town officials say allowing restaurant sales would make the town “partially dry.” They say there still won’t be a liquor store, because state regulations allow one package store per 2,500 residents and Bridgewater only has about 1,700 residents.

Last October, during his final months in office, First Selectman William Stuart said the next administration should consider changing the law banning the sale of alcohol. Stuart had led the town for 30 years and did not seek re-election in November.

While there are hundreds of dry cities, towns and counties remaining in the U.S., few are in New England. Bridgewater is the last dry town in Connecticut. Several years ago, Rockport, Mass., voted to allow restaurants to serve alcohol. The last dry town in Rhode Island, Barrington, saw its first liquor store open in 2011.

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