This election, voters in Sprigg Township can have a direct impact on the future of Moyer Winery. The iconic local winery was destroyed by a fire last summer. Since the fire, owners Ken and Kimberly Smith have been researching and developing a new plan moving forward.
On Friday, Local 12 interviewed Ken Smith for broadcast television and talked about the future. “Having the voters of Sprigg Township say, “Yes, we want Moyer back, and in order to do that, we understand you have to be able to sell beer, alcohol and wine,” said Smith.
But Adams County for Christian Values has opposed the ballot issue, frustrating many in the community that simply want to see the winery back in business. Phil Fulton, spokesman for the group told Local 12 that the winery’s revenue is not worth the ‘alcohol-related issues’ it might bring. “I’ve seen the addition of alcohol and what it’s done, and for that reason, we have stood against alcohol for our communities,” said Fulton. Moyer on the Ohio has a federal permit to sell wine and has done so for decades. In a letter mailed to voters of Sprigg Township earlier this month, Adams County for Christian Values said that “very little money will go to Sprigg Township” if the local option passes. The letter continued, “If you consider the expense for extra police protection, domestic violence, and health related expenses the revenues are not adequate. The letter from the group did not have a disclaimer on it showing who paid for the mailing, a violation of Ohio’s campaign finance laws.
But Smith directly refutes the claims made by Fulton and others. “Moyer Winery pays thousands in real estate taxes, which directly benefit the township, county, and school system. The restaurant also paid state sales tax and payroll taxes of over $50,000 in the year before the fire,” said Smith. A campaign mailing from Moyer on the Ohio said that Moyer hasn’t had any issues with criminal acts in the past. “In the decades of the existence of Moyer’s, no known criminal activity has taken place on the premises, so additional police protection isn’t warranted.”
After the story broke on Friday evening from Local 12, social media was flooded with supportive messages for the ballot issue. The decision of whether employees will get their jobs back and the location becomes a booming tourism destination again rests with the voters of Sprigg Township on election day.