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The lack of a quorum postponed New Castle's planning commission and an appeal that could bring craft spirits to the downtown area. 

Before a full crowd in city council chambers Wednesday — COVID-19 precautions cap the room attendance to a fraction of its occupancy — three appeals were to be heard. Only commission chair William Morgan and Heather Armstrong attended the meeting. Albert Conti, Jeff Fandozzi and Jonah Sally were absent. A majority of the commission — in this case, three members — is needed to be present for a quorum. 

"Unfortunately at this time, we do not have a quorum so we cannot hold a meeting tonight," Morgan said moments after convening the meeting. "We will have to delay this to next month. We apologize. The other members didn't show up tonight. Two were working and the other did not make it."

The rescheduled meeting is set for 7 p.m. May 5 in council chambers. 

Two of the appeals pertain to properties owned by Disabilities Options Network Services. The first is for a five lot consolidation plan in the Lower East Side area. The second is a conditional use request for New Castle Union Station Craft Distillery, Inc. at 334 E. Washington St. with plans to "put a craft distillery for making distilled spirits in the front part of the building" with retail space and a tasting area in the building as well.

The proposed distillery would occupy the train station located beside the Clark's Studio building, according to attorney Philip Berezniak, who represents DON. DON recently purchased several buildings along the East Washington Street corridor, including the Clark's Furniture building, the train station and the Packard Paint building. 

A third hearing is scheduled for a conditional use request by Matthew Blakely for 10 to 12 game of skill machines at 341 E. Washington St., the building housing the former Four Brother's Italian Bistro across the street from the proposed distillery. 

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Digital editor

Pete Sirianni is the News' assistant editor and digital editor. He is a proud Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate, earning a degree in journalism and public relations. Contact him at or on Twitter at @PeterSirianni.

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