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Group Submits Petitions To Allow BYOB At Ocean City, NJ Restaurants

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) - Restaurateurs in a "dry" South Jersey shore town who want to allow patrons to bring beer and wine to dinner have submitted their petitions to city officials -- and it appears they've met the burden to put the question to voters this fall.

Backers of the Ocean City "BYOB" legalization effort originally thought they needed 747 signatures, which would have set up a special election.   But local businessman Bill McGinnity says they didn't need -- or want -- to go quite that far.

"We're trying to help the local economy, not hurt it, and with any special election there's a lot of additional costs, and we didn't want to put that on the taxpayers of Ocean City," he told KYW Newsradio this morning.

So the group submitted only 583 signatures, well more than the 498 (ten percent of the last election's turnout) they need for the question to be included in this November's regular election.

The city clerk has 20 days to certify the petitions.  If the signatures are valid, it goes to City Council for their input.  They could opt to do nothing, which would force McGinnity's people to take their petitions to Cape May County for action.

Still, there is a sizable opposition to the plan, led  by the mayor and Ocean City's religoius community.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

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