New Milford to reconsider PnP beer sale request

New Milford Borough Council will reconsider Pump N Pantry’s request to sell beer at its New Milford location.
Council denied the request in a 3-2 vote, with two council members absent, at a public hearing on July 20.
Pump N Pantry is looking to transfer a restaurant liquor license from Forest City to New Milford, subject to approval by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
Council President Richard Ainey said, at the Thursday, Aug. 3, meeting, that he had spoken with numerous borough residents and the two council members absent at the July 20 hearing.
He said that after he had spoken with all the members of council, he was under the impression that the two that were absent would have voted in favor of the request.
Ainey also said that residents had voiced concerns that council was “holding (the town) back.”
“I firmly believe we made the wrong decision and I think we should re-evaluate,” Ainey said. “I think it’s fair that we have another vote.”
On July 20, Ainey and Councilwoman Teri Gulick voted in favor of the resolution; while Council members Larry White, Kerin Welch and Ken Carey were opposed.
In a vote on Aug. 3, council voted to advertise for a public hearing to be held to reconsider the resolution. Welch voted against the move.
The public hearing was scheduled for Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m., at the borough office.
Pump N Pantry President Scott Quigg told council the company would supply any additional information they request prior to the hearing.
And PnP attorney said the company would be filing an appeal of the July 20 decision in order to preserve their rights, but would withdraw the suit if approved on Aug. 31.
Quigg thanked council for consideration and the chance to readdress the issue.
At the July 20 public hearing, Quigg told the board that the license would allow for Pump N Pantry to sell the basically the equivalent of a 12-pack of 16 ounce beers at the store.
Part of the PCLB application process is to ask the municipality – in this case New Milford – to accept the license.
According to state regulations, the municipality is required to approve the request unless it finds doing so would adversely affect the “welfare, heath, peace and morals of the community or its residents.”
According to the proposal, beer would be sold Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m.-2 a.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
There will be a separate register added, as well as additional coolers, for beer sales.
At the July 20 hearing, Ainey said security was the biggest concern from residents. Quigg said the company would address issues if they arise.
Employees would go through Responsible Alcohol Management Program training and be at least 18 years of age in order to sell alcohol. Pump N Pantry currently has a one strike policy on tobacco sales, and Quigg told council the same would be done with alcohol.
Council also questioned procedures regarding compliance; as well as the thoughts from and impacts on other establishments in the borough that serve alcohol.
Sidewalks/Curbing project
The borough is moving forward with its sidewalk and curbing project.
Much of the Thursday night meeting was devoted to determining the scope and location of the proposed project.
Council engaged Milnes Engineering to begin the plan – which will generally run along Main Street from the new Dollar General on the north end of the borough to Jackson Street on the south side of town.
Council also approved the Susquehanna County Housing and Redevelopment Authority to administer the grant process.
The borough is looking to have engineering done for the complete project but would likely tackle it in phases over the course of several years.
In other borough business:
*the solicitor filed with the court regarding the nonpayment of fines in an ongoing dispute between the borough and a landowner;
*council talked about amending the flood plain ordinance to allow for an increase in square footage for auxiliary structures from 200 sq. ft. to 600 sq. ft.
*the borough is exploring making health insurance available to employees;
*a Dirt & Gravel, Low Volume Road grant was approved for work on Summit Street.

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