Norwin opposes Sheetz beer sales near North Huntingdon school
Norwin School Board is expected to vote next week to oppose Sheetz Inc.’s plans to sell alcohol at its convenience store across the street from one of the district’s elementary schools.
Barbara Viola, board president, said there is a board consensus to oppose Sheetz’s plans to sell alcohol at its Carpenter Lane store, which sits across the street from Stewartsville Elementary School. The vote is on the April 15 meeting agenda.
If the resolution is approved, Norwin would ask the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to deny Sheetz a liquor license for the store.
Superintendent William Kerr on Monday discussed the resolution, detailing the school district’s opposition because of its proximity to the elementary school. None of the board members voiced any opposition to the resolution.
The Altoona-based convenience store chain’s plans to sell beer at the store came to light last week when the North Huntingdon Planning Commission accepted the company’s site plans to expand the store to allow for 30 seats, the minimum required by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to obtain a restaurant liquor license. The plan would be available for review at the planning commission’s May meeting.
The school board said it would present the resolution to the township planning commission and the township commissioners, who would vote on approving the site plan and any transfer of a liquor license into North Huntingdon. The municipal officials have a right to vote on the transfer of a liquor license because North Huntingdon has reached its quota of 10 licenses, an LCB spokesman previously said.
When contacted Monday, Sheetz spokesman Nicholas Ruffner said in an email that, “Sheetz looks forward to working with the Norwin School District, as we have with other school districts and municipalities across Pennsylvania, in order to understand their concerns and to ensure them that we are committed to the responsible sale of beer at this location.”
Ruffner stated in an email last week that, “we sell beer at several stores across Pennsylvania which are located near schools of all different types.”
Customers are limited to drinking two beverages at the store, Ruffner said.
“The vast majority of customers are buying beer to take home and we do not see a large number of people stay on-site to consume beverages,” Ruffner said.
The company has not experienced any issues at store locations across Pennsylvania, with people consuming alcoholic beverages, Ruffner added.
Sheetz already sells alcohol it its two other stores in North Huntingdon: Ronda Court and North Thompson Lane, neither of which are near a Norwin school.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .