State liquor store leaving downtown | News, Sports, Jobs
LOCK HAVEN – The Lock Haven downtown state liquor store is moving.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to move the Fine Wine and Good Spirits Store to 137 E. Main St. in Clinton Plaza, Clinton County Economic Partnership executive director Michael Flanagan confirmed.
Flanagan said he listened to the PLCB meeting via conference call and that the vote to move the store was unanimous with all three board members – Chairman Tim Holden, Mike Negra and Mary Isenhour – endorsing the action.
“The store will move to the old CVS storefront at Clinton Plaza, hopefully by the end of the year,” Flanagan said. He said there were contracts to be signed and renovations to be completed before the move.
Flanagan said he noticed the move was an item on the PLCB’s agenda for Wednesday’s meeting and decided to join the listeners.
He said the action to move the local store was included in a single motion along with other items, including moving the liquor store to Kittaning.
Attempts to reach PLCB members to ask them the reasons for the move failed, and telephone messages to council “press contact” number were not returned.
The owner of the downtown property, Ron Pete, said he was not aware of the store’s relocation plans.
“I did not hear anything,” he said boldly when asked if he was aware of the move.
He wondered aloud why the board would move the store to Main Street and asked why he was not contacted before the board took action.
Pete said the store has been in his building for 43 years.
This isn’t the first time the downtown state store move has made headlines.
At its April 8, 2015 meeting, the PLCB essentially approved the relocation of the store to Millbrook Plaza in Bald Eagle Township by accepting a new but provisional lease.
The PLCB, which sent the rental agreement to the State Department for General Services (DGS) to fulfill the conditions, said its decision to move out of town at the time was based on the economy and the consumer behavior.
State Representative Stephanie Borowicz, R-Clinton / Center, said she advocates keeping the liquor store downtown due to comments she received in conversations with voters, community leaders and business owners.
“Ultimately, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board made another decision based on modernization and accessibility issues. I hope the new location will stay within the city limits ”, Borowicz said.
Lock Haven City Mayor Joel Long said he knew the PLCB was considering the move.
“I knew it was up for discussion. I didn’t know it had already happened ” Long told the Express on Wednesday. He said he had been informed by City Manager Gregory Wilson of the possible move recently and sent a letter to PLCB about the change.
“We strongly suggested that if it was to be moved it should be moved to Clinton Plaza. I prefer that he stay in the same place where he is. “ he said.
Long said the city lobbied to keep its location in the city due to a 24-hour police presence.
“Many other municipalities in the county rely heavily on the state police. The city has the only police force open 24 hours a day ”, he said.
Long said he was disappointed to learn that the liquor store was moving from its downtown location.
He believes the move in 2015 was canceled due to public backlash. Long served as Clinton County Commissioner during this time.
He noted that since the start of the pandemic, many similar decisions appear to be slipping under the radar.
“They seem to get a lot of stuff done faster,” he said, briefly mentioning the Pennsylvania state higher education system’s plan to consolidate Lock Haven University with two of its sister schools.