07/08/11 A request by Family Express to the Alcohol Beverage Board of Marshall County was rejected on a vote of three against and one in favor on July 5. According to Board President Vida Creed, all three of the local members (Creed, Maria Keller and Katie May) cast no votes and Indiana State Excise Officer Michelle Traughber cast the lone yes vote.
At this point, the matter will be referred to the state board where the local opinion could be upheld or overturned.
Family Express was seeking a beer and wine permit for their newest Plymouth store being built at 1351 S. Michigan Street.
The company does hold a beer and wine permit for their other Plymouth store as well as several other stores around the state.
In November of 2010, Mike Berrier, special project manger for Family Express, appeared before the board to request an alcoholic permit for the Family Express store located on the corner of Oak Road and Jefferson St. in Plymouth. However, the local board was not persuaded that the city needed another outlet for beer and wine sales and motioned 3 to 1 to deny the permit. Members Vida Creed, Katie May, and Maria Keller all voted against the permit, while Indiana State Excise Officer Michelle Traughber voted in favor of the permit.
When the matter was considered by the state commission on November 16, 2010, they voted unanimously to uphold the local board decision and deny the new permit.
But in February of 2011, the Indiana State Alcohol and Tobacco Commission held an appeal hearing. Following that hearing, the state board voted in approval of the permit.
According to Keller, no one was present at the public hearing on Tuesday; however, they did have one letter from a couple in Marshall County opposing the issuing of the permit. Keller said, “It was good to have the letter since it was then taken as an exhibit.”
The local board had been asking the public to either speak at the public hearing or provide a written statement either for or against the permit.
In denying the permit, Creed, Keller and May said they did not believe another permit was needed at the location and the community is not in favor of allowing permits at convenience type stores. The permit being sought by Family Express is commonly termed a grocery store permit.
Family Express has not returned any calls from the local media on the matter.
Already on the July agenda is a request by Speedway for a beer and wine permit.