SHERIDAN — Citing proximity of other liquor vendors near Good 2 Go’s proposed gas station and convenience store at 1229 Brundage Lane, the Sheridan City Council Monday evening unanimously denied a retail liquor license transfer to the Idaho Falls-based company.
Good 2 Go Stores LLC is no stranger to the City Council chambers. The family owned company, which operates 14 gas stations in Wyoming, was one of seven businesses that applied for Sheridan’s final available retail liquor license earlier this year. The Council in March awarded that license to Killy’s Smokehouse Deli.
With the city out of permits, any business looking to sell liquor would have to procure a license on the open market. Wyoming Cattle and Creek Company, located at 201 Broadway St., went this route and purchased a retail liquor license from Noble Entertainment Group. The Council approved that transfer in April.
Despite reaching an agreement with Spencer Willey and Stephanie Withrow, who previously co-owned and operated Home Realty and Willey’s Lounge, Good 2 Go would not be so lucky.
Community members came out in force to protest the planned 3,000-square-foot room for liquor sales at the former Red Eagle Food Store and gas station located just off Interstate 90.
Little Goose Liquors owner Cynthia Hoover spoke on behalf of the Sheridan County Liquor Dealers Association in protesting the license transfer. She said Good 2 Go selling packaged liquor would hurt small businesses and discourage visitors from entering the heart of Sheridan.
Several others also asked the City Council to deny the transfer. One man claimed people might be more likely to buy alcohol and drink in their vehicles on the interstate. Another said chain stores could buy liquor cheaper, giving them a competitive advantage. Many also cited Good 2 Go is an out-of-state business, taking dollars out of the community and going against the popular mantra to shop local.
Good 2 Go representative Shawn Boyle attempted to address the concerns during his time to speak. He said the convenience store has a “proven track record” in Wyoming — not selling to minors, creating attractive storefronts and investing money back into the community.
“We as a company do love Sheridan and want to make a positive difference here,” Boyle said. “And this is something financially would allow us to make a change where that gas station’s at right now.”
His presentation could not sway councilors, who repeatedly stressed they were not anti-business but still stood against the proposal.
Mayor John Heath said he spent “countless hours” considering the liquor transfer.
“I am not going to support the transfer because of the concentration on Brundage and that area,” he said. “That’s been my deciding factor, the concentration of liquor licenses in that area.”
Councilors Kelly Gooch and Jesus Rios both pointed to statute for their decision. According to state law, a liquor license transfer can be based on meeting the needs of residents in the vicinity, and also the desires of the community.
“I believe that this is not the desire of our community,” Gooch said. “That is loud and clear to us.”
The other councilors echoed these sentiments. Rios pointed out Good 2 Go would be the fourth full retail liquor license within one mile at that location. Councilors Shelleen Smith and Kristin Kelly both talked about the difficulty of the decision and balancing economic development with the wants and needs of Sheridan residents.
Ultimately, the Council decided the “density,” as Councilor Alex Lee put it, was simply too great at that location. The transfer failed by 5-0 vote.
In other business:
- Councilors approved the final plat and a recoupment agreement for off-site water and sewer infrastructure for Phase Two of the Wrench Ranch Master Plan.
Public Works Director Nic Bateson told the Council the city would extend utilities to the 10-acre, future elementary school site, and the state would set aside the money — estimated at $400,000 — in an escrow and reimburse Sheridan upon completion of the infrastructure.
The agreement also states any property owner or developer that ties into the water and sewer at a later date would be assessed a recoup fee.
- The Council passed the first readings of franchise agreements with ACT and Charter Communications. The agreements must go through two more readings, and councilors made a number of suggestions to Bateson to improve the agreements before they are finalized.
- City Council awarded the rotomill-overlay project bid to Simon Contractors for approximately $642,000.
Councilors also approved a cooperative agreement, which will include Sheridan County in a 50-50 split, to include Loop Road within the scope of the project.
- The Council approved a simple subdivision for approximately 44,000 square feet at 1239 Fourth Ave. East. The developer, Paul Del Rossi, plans to divide the property into three separate lots between Third Avenue East and Fourth Avenue East, located off Coffeen Avenue.