BURLINGTON - The Board of Selectmen soundly rejected a proposal to allow the Shell gas station convenient store at 61-63 Middlesex Turnpike to have the ability to sell beer and wine.
At its most recent meeting, the Selectmen voted down a motion 0-4-1 to allow a beer and wine license for the convenient store. Selectman Michael Runyan recused himself.
The store manager, representing Nouria Energy Retail, Inc and doing business as Middlesex Turnpike Shell #04008, made his pitch to the board.
Nouria Energy Retail, Inc. is based out of Worcester, and has been operating stores from Connecticut to Maine for the past 30 years. The store manager explained he is already T.I.P.S. (Training and Intervention Procedures for Servers of alcohol) certified. The manager detailed he previously worked for a popular convenient store chain in New York, all of which had a beer license.
He explained, if approved for a beer and wine license, the Middlesex Turnpike business already has a training session lined up for all employees. The business also conducts its own underage customer stings, in addition to what the Police Departments do.
In March, 2013, that Board of Selectmen roster did something unprecedented. By a 3-2 vote, they approved a beer and wine license for Carli Convenience Plus on Cambridge Street. This remains the only time a Burlington Board of Selectmen formally supported a liquor license for a convenient store. The two opposing votes are the only members remaining on the board today, and they are Selectmen Michael Runyan and Robert Hogan.
Selectmen Runyan and Hogan expressed strong disapproval of that beer and wine license, referencing not liking the idea of the simplicity of underage persons being able to obtain liquor at a convenient store where juveniles frequent.
Selectman Hogan’s opinion has not changed on the scenario since 2013, and he declared his negative stance on a beer and wine license at the Shell on Middlesex Turnpike.
“This comes to us not with a lot of support here,” stated Selectman Hogan. “I feel there are plenty of opportunities for beer and wine to be purchased throughout Burlington.”
Selectman Vice Chair James Tigges echoed those sentiments.
“I philosophically do not believe in any convenient store selling alcohol,” he said convincingly.
The rest of the board voiced similar concerns about the proposition, making it very easy for them to vote down the motion to approve the beer and wine license by a 0-4-1 margin.