VINELAND — City Council may vote next week to establish a new liquor license created as part of an agreement with developers of the ShopRite supermarket on West Landis Avenue.
If approved, this would be second time in a little more than a month that the city’s government body voted to create the license.
The first approval was given Dec. 11 by members of the previous City Council, whose terms in office expired at the end of December. Mayor Robert Romano, whose term also expired on Dec. 31, never signed the legislation.
Then-City Solicitor Alfred Verderose said the former municipal administration opted to let members of the new administration, which took office this month, decide how to handle the liquor license.
City Council is reviewing a draft resolution that would authorize creation of the new license. City Solicitor Richard Tonetta told City Council members Tuesday they can set a minimum bid for the license, along with possible restrictions.
The previous administration set the base bid for the license at $300,000.
Tonetta said Tuesday that a review of some recent liquor license sales shows the licenses sold for between $275,000 and $400,000.
A vote on the authorizing resolution is listed on City Council’s agenda for its meeting Tuesday.
Bottino ShopRite attorney Damien DelDuca told City Council on Tuesday that his clients are facing “tremendous pressure” to get the new supermarket open. The lease on the company’s current site is coming to an end, he said.
Bottino ShopRite is building a more than $20 million supermarket on West Landis Avenue across the super Walmart. The supermarket’s plans include a retail liquor outlet.
City officials said earlier that Bottino ShopRite would not build the new supermarket if creation of the new liquor license was not included in the development agreement. Officials with Bottino ShopRite have not commented on that aspect of the development agreement.
Some local liquor license holders are opposing the new license. They argue that they could lose significant business if Bottino ShopRite wins the license.
City Councilman John Procopio said Tuesday he was concerned that, if ShopRite got the license, it would pull business from other liquor establishments.
“I’ve heard arguments on both sides,” he said.
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