BUFFALO TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — New alcohol laws in Pennsylvania have finally fallen in favor of customers and convenience stores, but a plan to sell beer at a Sheetz in the Freeport area is not going over well with the community.
When the Freeport Yellowjackets take the field this fall, the school board doesn’t want Sheetz to be selling beer next door.
“Freeport is a great community. We have a great school district, and we’re just trying to keep it that way,” Freeport Area School Board President Daniel Lucovich said.
On school property, they have a zero tolerance policy for alcohol or drugs.
“Our goal is to protect the kids,” Lucovich said. “That’s our total focus.”
So the Freeport school board is trying to stop Sheetz from getting its beer-selling license. Lucovich says they don’t like that GetGo is already selling beer across the street. But…
“They’re too far away. They’re across the three-lane highway,” Lucovich said. “They meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.”
But he says Sheetz is well within the 300-foot buffer zone required between schools and beer sellers.
“It’s right there,” he said. “We border Sheetz. Sheetz is right beside our property.”
The school building may be more than 300 feet away, but the practice field and the football stadium are well within 300 feet.
Sheetz customers don’t see the big deal if Sheetz sells beer.
“If they have workers that are responsible enough to, like, be able to check ID,” Sumer Jasmine, of Sarver, said.
“If they are following the rules and regulations, I guess it’s no different than any other business nearby,” Missy Funyak, of North Huntingdon, said, “so I think they should.”
A lengthy hearing was held by the PLCB on July 13 and a ruling will come soon.
“If we lose, we lose, but at least we felt like we’ve done the right thing to protect our kids,” Lucovich said.
The school board says if they do lose, they may change some rules at their football games. A proposed new rule — if you go to the game, once you’re inside the stadium, you have to stay inside the stadium. If you leave, you may be required to buy another ticket to re-enter the stadium.
In a statement, Sheetz said they want to be a good neighbor to the school and they “will continue to listen and take into consideration the concern surrounding the liquor license in Buffalo Township as the planning and permitting process proceeds.”