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Bethel's Final Liquor Store License Remains Unassigned

Apr 13, 2017

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board did not grant a liquor license on Thursday to any of the three Bethel businesses competing for the town’s final liquor store license.

None of the three have conditional use permits from the City, and ABC Board member Rex Leath suggested that a decision at this point would be premature.

“This is a process that is no doubt live and active, and there’s a lot of moving parts between three different applicants with the City of Bethel. And I think this is probably something that isn’t in a state that we are ready to weight in on who is qualified right now," said Leath, who is from Wasilla and sits in the Board's Public Safety Seat.

The Board unanimously voted to postpone considering the applications until their next meeting in July with the hope that, by then, the applicants will have met the City’s requirements for opening a store.

The Bethel City Council has protested each of the applications.

The Board said it does not grant licenses to businesses that have not received conditional use permits, which are permits that deal with zoning. They show that the city has inspected the proposed property and considers it safe for operating such a business.

The Bethel Planning Commission will consider Cezary Maczynski’s permit application Thursday night for his proposed liquor store, Kusko Liquor.

The Commission denied the Tundra Liquor Cache a permit and owner Steve Chung has appealed that decision. The appeal hearing will occur May 4.

The final business, the Alaska Commercial Company, has not submitted an application for a permit.

The meeting was held telephonically and three people spoke to represent the City of Bethel: Mayor Rick Robb, City Council Member Leif Albertson, and City Attorney Patty Burley.