November 21, 2018

Liquor license lesson

Luzerne Am. Legion approaches county for new license

Posted

MIO — The Luzerne American Legion post was told to take its application for a liquor license to Big Creek Township after attempting to get approval from the Oscoda County commissioners at the Aug. 28 county workshop.

Post Administrative and Financial Officer Bob Whittaker approached the board asking for its approval to upgrade the post’s club-level liquor license to a class C license. He said he thinks it would help grow membership at the post.

“We’ve had closures for food and drink establishments in the area,” Whittaker said. “That’s what prompted us to do this. … There are no class C establishments other than two cabin licenses, which cannot be moved from the (current) premises.”

Commissioner Pat Kelly asked how the liquor license will drive up memberships.

Whittaker said as of now the club can only serve certain people.

“We are limited with the club license to only serve members and their guests,” he said. “If we get the license it opens that up to the public.”

There are a few special circumstances when the post is able to serve other people, but Whittaker said those are few and far between and the group must get a special one-day permit for those occasions.

Commissioner Jack Kischnick asked why Whittaker started his campaign for the liquor license at the county level.

“Why are you starting at this level and not starting off where it should have been at?” Kischnick said. “(Pursue it) at the township level and then to the state. I don’t think we have any authority to make a decision on this.”

Whittaker said because the application for the license costs a $600 nonrefundable fee, his hope was to gauge the feeling of the county on the matter before pursuing elsewhere. The consensus of the commission was that it would make no decision on the matter, and it suggested Whittaker approach the Big Creek Township Board.

According to Whittaker, another issue he faces in getting the license is that there are no class C licenses available in Oscoda County. He said they are all currently in use, or the owners are holding on to them to sell with their businesses. Whittaker said for the post to get its own license, it would need to find a way to purchase an existing one.

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