City Council sets public hearing dates

Warren City Council set dates for two public hearings and a special meeting on Monday.

And one of them is tied to a forthcoming economic development liquor license for a downtown Warren restaurant.

City Manager Nancy Freenock said “application materials will be forthcoming” for the license from The Plaza restaurant.

She said the application will require a public hearing as well as a resolution from council either approving or not approving the license.

That hearing was set for 7:01 prior to council’s next meeting on May 20.

“(I’ve) been told they wish to serve wine and beer,” Freenock said. “From what I recall, there really is no restriction.”

Councilman John Lewis asked if the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has a “limit on the number of licenses that the community may grant.”

Freenock said that she is not sure that the community granting license is the “appropriate standard,” stating that there is a number allocated based on the city’s population and the “city is over that count.”

She said council has the right to grant the economic development liquor licenses.

There was some question about whether there are any licenses in the county currently up for sale.

Lewis said this application “seem like its an end run around the county’s ability to control the number that are out there.”

A second public hearing date was set for May 20 regarding a proposed expansion of the city’s commercial tax abatement program as well as expansion into the residential realm.

A special meeting was set for April 23 at 5:30 p.m., as well.

Freenock said bids for work at Crescent Park will be opened on Thursday and asked council to consider a special meeting for next week to address those bids.

She said that an agreement would also be presented to council with Warren General Hospital at that special meeting for lighting and signage at the helipad. She said aviation regulations enforced by PennDOT require the work and said the agreement is needed so Warren General can move ahead.

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