MOORESTOWN, N.J. (CBS) — Four years ago, voters in Moorestown, NJ defeated an effort to allow alcohol sales in the town. Now the question is back on next month’s ballot, with a twist, and opponents vow to defeat it again.
This time, it’s a two-parter. Question one paves the way for alcohol sales in the dry town, and question two would restrict those sales to the Moorestown Mall.
The mall’s owners are pushing heavily for approval, but an ad hoc group — Concerned Citizens Against Liquor Licenses — believes they can beat back this effort as well.
“We see that this is an opportunity for some developers and certain individuals to make money at the expense of the town,” says Maryann Fallows, a real estate agent and one of the organizers.
The mall wants to make liquor available in four restaurants as part of an overall upgrade that would include a 12-screen movie theatre. Right now, more than 25 percent of the mall’s stores are empty, and mall owners are considering an appeal of their tax assessment should the measures fail.
Joe Coradino, president of mall owner PREIT, suggests the town would benefit from the change as well.
“It’ll stabilize their largest taxpayer, the mall, and we think ultimately it will provide a consistent and stable revenue base for the town,” he tells KYW Newsradio.
In 2007 the issue was defeated almost two-to-one. Coradino believes the current state of the economy might result in a different outcome this time.
Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060