Council peruses proposed Kusko Liquor license transfer to AC Co.

by Delta Discovery Staff

During last Tuesday’s regular city council meeting in Bethel, Council reviewed the Administrative Report and Liquor License Transfer from Kusko Liquor, owned by Cezary Maczynski, to ACC Liquor Store, owned by the North West Company.

The location of the proposed store is at 811 3rd Avenue, which is the former Sammy’s Market.

Council took no action on the item during Tuesday’s meeting.

Alaska Commercial Co. Bethel Store Manager Seth Madole was present during the meeting.

A motion was made to suspend the rules to hear from Madole, which council approved. Madole fielded questions from council.

Also included in the packet was a letter from AC Co. representative Jeff Cichosz, Director of Sales and Operations.

The letter, dated June 3rd, 2019, was directed to the Bethel City Council.

“Please accept this letter as a supplement to our application to operate a package liquor store at 811 Third Avenue,” it said. “We wish to present you the following voluntary conditions we are willing to do in order to alleviate any concerns and to show that we want to be a good business partner in Bethel. We would also like to emphasize that our business is legal and provides benefits to the community in the form of tax revenue, jobs, and opportunities for advancement within the company. The first 14 points below were given as a supplement to the Planning Commission regarding our C.U.P. (Conditional Use Permit). Below these points are additional items specifically for your consideration.”

Below are the voluntary conditions:

•Fencing (6’ or max height per code) will be on 3 sides of the property to enhance security for businesses adjacent to our store and safety due to the lake behind the property

•Exterior lighting will be added to the front and sides of the business, to light the exterior of the property 24 hours per day

•Upgraded security camera system to be installed – including multiple exterior cameras

•Security personnel will be on site all hours of operation to patrol the property, monitor the door and review the security cameras

•We feel this location on Third Avenue is better suited than our competitor’s location and other granted licensee location due to parking and proximity to river

•Ingress/Egress to the building is controlled from street and parking lot

•Hours of operation will be Noon – 8pm; Monday through Saturday (Closed Sunday)

•We will limit purchase of hard spirits to two bottles per day per individual – currently one fewer than the competition

•The smaller container size of hard spirits stocked will be 750 ml. – this size is much harder to conceal and transport than the smaller sizes

•Our company policy is to require 100% of customers (as well as individuals accompanying the customers) present valid state issued identification before they can purchase alcoholic beverages

•ACC has a TAPS trainer in house at our Anchorage headquarters

•100% of our Bethel liquor store staff will be TAPS trained, and will have regular opportunities to update their training

•We plan on addressing litter in the following ways:

-No plastic bags used at this location

-Several trash receptacles on the exterior, emptied daily

-Employees will conduct daily litter collection on property and roadway near the property

-ACC will donate money to non-profits who are willing to do litter patrols

•We plan on an enhanced donation program at this location, earmarked for non-profit organizations impacted by alcohol. Beginning budget will be 1% of total alcohol sales.

City Council additional items:

•AC will operate a computerized daily “sell to” list of customers purchasing hard spirits. The Driver’s License number will be entered prohibiting them from purchasing multiple times in a day.

•AC will keep a “banned” list consisting of individuals who have created a nuisance, stolen, been verbally abusive etc. We will also place people on this list when requested by local authorities. We are willing to share this list with the competitor.

***

On Thursday, June 13th, 2019 the Conditional Use Permit for the proposed ACC Liquor Store was approved by the Planning Commission.

Council received two letters of protest from concerned community members which were included in the council’s packet. A letter of support for the Conditional Use Permit to be approved was also included in the packet which was sent to the Mayor, City Manager, the City Planner, Planning Commission Members, and City Council members.

The deadline for the City of Bethel to protest is July 6th, 2019. The applicant will need to be provided 7 days notice in advance of the protest.

According to the City Clerk’s report to council in the June 11th, 2019 meeting packet, the City Clerk’s office is reviewing data related to the alcohol calls in the community and has been asked to prepare a protest on the transfer of the Kusko Liquor Store License

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