Allegheny College’s bid for a transfer of liquor license from West Mead Township into Meadville was unanimously denied by the Meadville City Council on Wednesday, May 4.
The council voted 5-0 to deny the college’s request for a liquor license, once held by Yukon Ron’s Bar & Grill Inc., between the two Crawford County municipalities. The vote came after an April 21 public hearing in which several Meadville citizens spoke in opposition to the move and the council subsequently tabled the vote until the May 4 council meeting.
Prior to the vote, during the allotted time for public comment, Allegheny College President Hilary Link responded to concerns raised during the initial hearing.
“Public drunkenness was brought up; our (Office of Public Safety) ran all the numbers and the cases of public drunkenness over the last nine months — when we’ve been doing the exact type of events that we are asking for this liquor license to do — (the numbers) have gone down,” Link said.
During the April 21 hearing, Link said that the license would be used to provide alcohol at sporting events and pop-up events like the Sycamore. Previously, the college had borrowed the statewide catering license owned by Parkhurst Dining, but during the May 4 meeting, Link said that as the college is “examining the food and beverage program on campus,” and having its own liquor license would grant additional flexibility in hosting events.
However, other public comments reiterated strong opposition to the transfer. Alysia Mowad provided the council with a survey that showed that 82.9% of Meadville residents opposed the transfer, though the exact methodology of this survey was not disclosed.
The vote itself was divided into two items on the agenda: a resolution to approve the transfer and another to deny it. When the resolution to approve came forward, no councilmember made a motion to vote on it, and the agenda moved forward.
On the resolution to deny the transfer, Councilman Jim Roha moved for a roll call vote, and Deputy Mayor Larry McKnight seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
The resolution itself stated that the transfer of the liquor license would, “negatively and adversely affect the welfare, health, peace, and morals of the municipality of the City of Meadville and its residents.”
Link and Allegheny College Chief of Staff Kevin Kovalcysik, who attended the meeting, declined to comment to The Campus.