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Referendum on Provo breweries fails to make it on the ballot after recount

Posted at 4:39 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 20:03:20-04

PROVO, Utah — A referendum to overturn the Provo City Council's decision to allow breweries to move into parts of the community has failed once again.

That means it will not appear on the November ballot, and breweries are now poised to move into parts of the conservative Utah County community.

Provo City Recorder Amanda Ercanbrack told FOX13 on Wednesday that a recount on the citizen referendum came up short by 88 signatures. It also failed to meet a legal threshold of having signatures spread across enough council districts.

Related link: Listen to Utah Booze News: An Alcohol Policy Podcast from FOX 13 and The Salt Lake Tribune

The total number of signatures verified was 3,069. That was an increase over last week, after Provo agreed to consider signatures that didn't initially have the proper verification included.

"The recount was conducted in the presence of one of the petition sponsors with representatives from the County Clerk’s office present to answer questions, if necessary, regarding whether signers were registered to vote in Provo. The result of the recount was that the petition sponsors had submitted 3,069 certified names. This did not meet the requirement of 3,157 certified names. Therefore, the petition is not qualified for the ballot," Ercanbrack said.

Provo's City Council voted 4-3 earlier this year to allow up to five breweries to move into the community. Springville-based Strap Tank Brewery has expressed interest in adding a Provo location.

Provo, home to Brigham Young University (whose faculty and student body are not allowed to drink), has only two bars.