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Sam's Club seeking license to sell alcohol

Mar. 05, 2013 @ 11:30 PM

BURLINGTON, Ohio -- Sam's Club is looking into getting a license to sell alcoholic beverages at its store on U.S. 52. However, a number of things have to happen first, including a local option election.

The Ohio Division of Liquor Control notified the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners that Sam's East Inc., doing business as Sam's Club, 432 Private Drive 288, South Point, had filed an application for the license. The application, however, listed the business as located in Perry Township, and Sam's Club is located in Fayette Township. The application lists the applicant as a large corporation.

Before the business can sell alcoholic beverages, a petition drive and a local option election are required in Burlington 1 precinct, said Kathy Overbeck, director of the Lawrence County Board of Elections.

"They would need 88 valid signatures to hold the election and put it on the ballot," she said Tuesday.

The application is site specific, meaning the adjacent Wal-Mart wouldn't be able to sell beer or wine under the Sam's Club license, Overbeck said. This year there is no primary election, so the matter couldn't be placed before voters until November, she said.

Ed Mollendick, president of the Concerned Citizens of Burlington, said the community group hasn't formally discussed the application. "I know some people are against it, and a few people are for it," he said. "I live in Burlington 2, so I can't vote on it. The concerned citizens haven't taken a stance on it. I'm sure it'll come up at the next meeting."

A similar issue was put before voters four years ago and failed, he said.

The Board of Commissioners forwarded the application to the Fayette Township Board of Trustees. The board routinely forwards the application to local townships of cities or village.

Perry Brock, a Fayette Township trustee, said the trustees won't get involved.

"It's up to a vote of the people," Brock said.

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