CANTON — The Canton governing board has passed amendments to its pool hall ordinance that will relax some of the strict rules that have been in place for decades.

The change in the ordinance — which placed restrictions on pool halls that exist for no other businesses — came with little ado at the town’s meeting held last Thursday. Prior to the board’s unanimous decision to amend the ordinance, there was an opportunity for the public to offer its input.

During this time, there was little discussion regarding the ordinance itself, but multiple people stepped forward to voice support for Alicia Putnam, who is opening Papertown Billiards downtown.

Basically, the changes will allow for pool halls to have more flexible hours and serve concessions, such as food and beer.

Once the board members cast their votes to amend the ordinance, the vote was met with a hearty round of applause. Mayor Zeb Smathers both praised Putnam for her bold effort to open her billiard hall and offered her advice.

Smathers said he wanted her to succeed, and do it correctly.

He also noted that while those at the meeting were supportive, there are people in the community who still stand in opposition to such changes, adding that she should make an effort to not only follow the ordinance, but “the spirit of the ordinance.”

The ordinance dates back to 1963, a time when pool halls were viewed as unsavory and in need of special restrictions.

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