SHENANDOAH HEIGHTS - The West Mahanoy Township supervisors held a public hearing during its regular meeting on Tuesday night, hearing T&J Petroleum LLC's request to transfer a liquor license from the Clarion House in Saint Clair to the Frackville Exxon, 541 Altamont Boulevard, Altamont.
During the hearing, which is required by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, township residents voiced concerns about the potential negative effects of the license transfer.
"Is that a good idea to have alcohol sold at (the junction of Interstate 81 and PA Route 61), because we have a lot of people that come off 81. They come off to eat, to get gas, go to a place like this, get a couple of cases of beer, is that a good idea?" asked Evelyn Andrews, Altamont.
"You're going to put a bar, basically... you're going to add more of a problem for our police, and for our neighborhoods up there. We don't have the police coverage, and I don't think that's fair to our policemen, and it's not fair to our community." Ann Marie Wycheck added.
The township supervisors also received a certified letter from Attorney Joseph P. Semasek, regarding the convenience store's license transfer, which read "Please be advised that I received John Gaverick with reference to the transfer of a malt beverage license to the premises next to his... Mr. Gaverick objects to the transfer as it will devalue his residential property; this being a residential area.
Two representatives from T&J Petroleum were present to address concerns and answer questions which the public and township supervisors had. The representatives noted that the convenience store will install seating for 30, as required by the liquor control board, and the space for the seating would be created by reducing the the amount of some merchandise which they currently sell.
"I'm not certain everyone in the room realizes this is the new wave of Pennsylvania. The Sheetz' have all bought licenses. The Turkey Hills have bought them. If you look at the LCB website, you'll see that all of these small convenience stores and large convenience stores have bought them, and it is the intention of the LCB that they be operated this way" said one representative.
According to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board website's license search tool, the Turkey Hill location's in Ashland, Shenandoah, and Frackville have not received nor applied for a liquor license as of July 18, 2017. The Shenandoah location of Redner's Warehouse Markets, in the Turkey Run section of the borough, has applied for a liquor license, which is pending as of July 18, 2017.
Following an executive session, Supervisor Joe Sweeney motioned to disapprove the liquor license transfer, seconded by Paul "Pepper" Martin. The vote to disapprove was unanimous.
In other business, township supervisors acknowledged a letter stating the township was awarded a USDA grant for $6800 to be used towards the purchase of a 2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility. Township supervisors also approved a motion to approve borrowing $35,000 from First National Bank to cover the remainder of the purchase.
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