NARRAGANSETT- Due to the absence of town council member Doug Mclaughlin, the motion for the Shell Gasoline Station and Seasons Convenience Store, 1015 Boston Neck Road, to operate a 24-hour convenience store was denied with a vote of 2-2 during the meeting Monday.
Due to McLaughlin’s absence, Town Solicitor Mark McSally stated that the motion couldn’t be approved. Town Council President James Callaghan said that the applicants can return to the council in the future for approval of this motion but due to the split vote of the members present during the meeting, it could not be approved.
Councilor Matt Mannix and Callaghan voted against the motion due to their concerns that the 24 hours of operation would attract a negative crowd to Narragansett.
“We have a problem that we talk about all the time in town with college rentals,” Mannix said. “We know we have a problem, how do we not invite that to be a bigger problem? To me opening the first 24-hour convenience store would contribute to that with the foot traffic, so I think that we need to be diligent in trying to do that.”
He continued, “I can envision what we are going to see, we are going to see a lot of walking to and from, we are going to see probably students who are already drinking and walking to get cigarettes. I just think we are inviting a host of problems.”
Resident John Goonan lives directly adjacent to the gas station and stated his concern with the distress the extended hours would bring to residents near the property.
“With the increased lighting I feel like my house is going to end up with a daytime situation for 24 hours,” Goonan said. “We have family, we have guests, and people who want to get a good night sleep which will be denied.”
He added, “It’s just not right, there is no 24 hour store on Boston Neck Road, everybody closes down and this is not the place to start.”
For the rest of the story, check out Wednesday's Narragansett Times.