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INDIANA BOROUGH: Council urged to use caution on adding new liquor license

by on August 06, 2014 11:00 AM

Tim McQuaide, co-owner of The Coney, a downtown Indiana restaurant with a liquor license, Tuesday urged Indiana Borough council to carefully consider a request to transfer another liquor license into the borough for a proposed new bar.

A request is pending with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to transfer a license for a new establishment planned for the former Music Box store at 659 Philadelphia St.

A public notice posted in the window of the former store identifies the applicant for the transfer only as JJTK LLC and the request is to transfer a license from Alverda. No other details were available this morning from the LCB.

“I don’t mind competition,” McQuaide told council, but he said Indiana is saturated with liquor licenses. There are 14 currently in the borough with four more issued to clubs.

McQuaide said the more bars Indiana has the more likely it is that owners may take shortcuts — like serving intoxicated patrons.

McQuaide said that according to the LCB, once the number of existing retail liquor licenses in a municipality exceeds one per 3,000 residents, an applicant who wants to move a license into that municipality must receive written approval in the form of an ordinance or resolution following a hearing from the municipality before the LCB can consider the application. Indiana is already well above the one-license-per-3,000-residents threshold.

“I highly recommend council look at this and make a decision that is good for the borough,” McQuaide said.

McQuaide added he was making his comments as a business owner and not in his role as president of Downtown Indiana Inc.

Council President Nancy Jones said following Tuesday’s meeting that council is aware of the application to transfer another liquor license into the borough and the issue will come to the full council, possibly in October, after being reviewed in committee.

Council Tuesday also ratified a new employment contract for nonuniformed and non-management secretaries and employees in the street, sewer and parking departments who are members of Local 580 of the Utility Workers Union of America.

Under the new pact the 42 members will receive pay increases based on the consumer price index, but not less than 3 percent in each of the five years of the contract.

The current contract expires Dec. 31.

Randy Wells has been a reporter and staff writer at The Indiana Gazette since 1988. His regular assignments include coverage of the Indiana County commissioners, Indiana Borough council and the Marion Center Area School District. His email address is
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