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Freeport schools to appeal Buffalo Township Sheetz liquor license

| Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, 2:18 p.m.
Freeport Area School District protested a liquor license for a Sheetz in Buffalo Township, saying it is too close to the district’s high school. Their properties border each other. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approved the license on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Freeport Area School District protested a liquor license for a Sheetz in Buffalo Township, saying it is too close to the district’s high school. Their properties border each other. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approved the license on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017.

The Freeport Area School District will appeal the state Liquor Control Board's decision to allow beer sales at the Sheetz location adjacent to the high school.

The school district had expressed concerns to the LCB at a July hearing. The rear of the Sheetz property along South Pike Road (Route 356) in Buffalo Township abuts the Freeport Area High School property, close to the school district's new sports stadium.

LCB rules generally frown upon granting liquor licenses to establishments within 300 feet of a school, but state law does not forbid it.

The Buffalo Township Sheetz is more than 300 feet from the high school building, but not the stadium.

The school board voted, 5-2, on Wednesday to pursue the appeal in Butler County Court.

School board President Daniel Lucovich and board members Michael Huth, Barbara Toy-Gaydos, Frank Borelli and Melanie Bollinger voted to pursue the appeal.

Christine Davies and Richard Hill voted no. Both cited the move as being “a waste of time and money.”

“We did our due diligence before the hearing,” Davies said.

School board members Frank Prazenica Jr. and John Marty were absent.

Freeport Mayor James Swartz said it would be a waste of the taxpayers' money to appeal.

Swartz added that the Giant Eagle GetGo across the highway from Sheetz also sells beer and that the proximity of the Rainbow Inn to the old stadium in downtown Freeport for 60 years never was a problem.

“You can go across the street and buy the same product,” Swartz said.

School district Solicitor Matthew Hoffman said the appeal will initially cost “a couple thousand dollars,” including a brief to be filed as the basis for objection.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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