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Township Putting Liquor Distribution License Up For Sale

The township reserves the right to reject all bids if it feels none are appropriate.

Galloway Township is putting its liquor distribution license up for sale.

The sale of the license was authorized with a 5-0 vote by council members present at Monday night, Sept. 24’s meeting at the municipal complex.

Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola abstained from the vote and Councilwoman Whitney Ullman was absent.

There was much discussion on what minimum bid council would accept. Council decided it wouldn’t accept a bid lower than $300,000.

The last two licenses were sold to Smitty’s Wine and Spirits and Gourmet Italian Cuisine for between $300,000 and $350,000 each.  Council members acknowledge the license was worth more in the past.

“If there was some competition, it might go for $400,000,” Councilman Tom Bassford said.

The license allows prospective business owners to purchase an empty lot and a liquor license at the same time, rather than purchasing the lot and then taking an extra step to purchase the license. According to Purdy, the Township has been in possession of the license for the last three or four years.

Mayor Don Purdy first mentioned putting the license up for sale during the budget process in June, and broached the subject once more at the last council meeting, which came one day after most township employees were issued notifications of possible layoffs.

Final layoff notices are scheduled to be issued Nov. 16, but council members have said they want to explore all avenues before issuing layoff notices.

Township Manager Arch Liston ruled out furloughs, which employees have taken the last two years. At the beginning of the budget process, Liston said furloughs were a

The township will put the license up for sale via the normal advertising route, and make the point it can reject any bid it isn’t satisfied with, at the suggestion of Township Solicitor Mike Fitzgerald.

“If we don’t like the bids, we can take another shot in a year,” Fitzgerald said. “We want to set a floor that’s realistic, but that’s also adequate.”

“We don’t want something that’s too high because we’re bound to run into some stumbling blocks,” Councilman John Mooney said.

Fitzgerald said the township will look for the best price. He also warned against advertising the license through simple legal notices.

“We should do an outreach to local businesses,” Fitzgerald said.

“We’ll sell big block ads,” in local newspapers, Liston said.

“We will take the time to advertise this properly and put it up for sale by the end of the year,” Purdy said.

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