Sheetz applies to LCB to sell liquor near Norwin elementary school |
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Joe Napsha

Sheetz Inc. has applied to sell alcohol at its North Huntingdon convenience store on Route 30, which is near a Norwin elementary school.

The request from the Altoona-based convenience store chain at its store located across Carpenter Lane from the Stewartsville Elementary School is pending before the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, according to the agency’s website.

Sheetz must request a public hearing before North Huntingdon commissioners on the transfer of the liquor license to that site because North Huntingdon already has surpassed its retail liquor license quota of 10, which is based on one license per 3,000 residents, said PLCB spokesman Shawn M. Kelly. The commissioners get to vote on whether to approve the transfer.

“In municipalities that are over the retail liquor license quota, the PLCB cannot process a license transfer application without an ordinance or resolution by the municipal governing body approving of the transfer,” Kelly stated.

The company has not contacted North Huntingdon Township to schedule a public hearing, Jeff Silka, North Huntingdon manager, said this week.

Nicholas Ruffner, Sheetz spokesman, could not be reached for comment.

Commissioner Fran Bevan has expressed her opposition to Sheetz selling alcohol near the Stewartsville Elementary School, while Commissioner Brian Blasko, a Yough school teacher, said he is not opposed to it.

The Norwin School Board passed a resolution in April opposing alcohol sales near the elementary school.

Ruffner said at the time 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.”

Sheetz has sued the PLCB in Centre County Court because of it denied a license for a Sheetz store near a school.

Grant Shaffer, Sheetz project manager, said that the managers of two other Sheetz locations in North Huntingdon — Ronda Court and Route 30, east of the Pennsylvania Turnpike exit — say customers seldom sit in the store and drink the beer they purchase. Sheetz does not permit customers to drink more than two bottles or cans of beer in the store.

Sheetz has the township’s approval to expand the store to accommodate the space for 30 seats inside the building, which is a state requirement for an establishment with a restaurant liquor license.

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