Town of Caneadea, including Houghton, could lose dry town status under state legislation

The Town of Caneadea may lose its ability to keep its community free from alcohol sales.

The Associated Press and other media are reporting that a New York State Senate bill, making the sale of alcohol lawful in any municipality that had previously prohibited its sale, and precluding municipalities from
enacting any future prohibition on the sale of alcohol, has been voted out of committee to the Senate floor.

Seven towns in the state would be affected by the proposed law, including the Town of Caneadea and the hamlet of Houghton, which last voted to maintain its dry town status in 1986.

The legislation was sponsored by State Senator James Skoufis of the Town of Woodbury, Orange County, chairman of the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, who is quoted as saying that “(T)his ain’t the Prohibition era any longer. We live in New York in 2024, and this thing (of having dry towns) is kind of silly.”

Senator Thomas O’Mara of Big Flats, who represents the eastern portion of Allegany County, is listed as the ranking minority member of the committee, which approved sending the bill to the full body by a 5-0 vote, including two “ayes with reservations,” one of them being O’Mara, according to Senate records.

A companion bill in the State Assembly is sponsored by Albert A. Stirpe, Jr., of North Syracuse, chairman of the Assembly Economic Development Committee.

The Associated Press story is available at