2012-03-01 / Front Page

Uproar Sheds Light On Old FCMC Plans

Building to become senior living center, not beer distributorship
By Lindsay R. Mellott

Old Fulton County Medical Center building Old Fulton County Medical Center building News that an application for a license to distribute beer was posted in the window of the old Fulton County Medical Center on South First Street spread quickly around McConnellsburg over the weekend, stirring up a bit of a furor, particularly on social networking sites. By Monday, the talk had brought WHAG-TV to town to interview the building’s owner, William “Bill” Palmer, owner of Palmer Construction.

Palmer’s televised interview on WHAG-TV Monday evening made no mention of the beer license application but did reveal Palmer’s plans to convert the building into a senior living center. Once completed, Palmer said, in the interview, that the center would include assisted living, daycare, deli, pharmacy and spa.

The “News” learned Monday that a notice for an application for a license to distribute malt beverages had been posted in a window at the old hospital, and a xeroxed copy of a photograph obtained by the “News” supported that. The “News” was able to confirm that the notice was gone by Sunday, however.

Schematic of planned senior living center shows child and adult daycare areas and pharmacy. Schematic of planned senior living center shows child and adult daycare areas and pharmacy. Palmer told the “News” Tuesday morning that “no alcohol-related facility will be located at the former Medical Center building.” He said, “My plans are to still make the building into a senior living center with senior daycare and possibly children’s daycare.”

“It was never intended to ever go there (beer distributor license). It could never have passed zoning,” Palmer said.

Palmer did say that he is in a partnership that has applied for a beer distributor’s license, but the site for that license will be located outside the borough of Mc- Connellsburg. He said the old hospital building address (216 South First Street) was used only for the preliminary liquor license application.

“Why would I locate a 1,000- square-foot business facing a back alley in that building?” said Palmer. “It doesn’t make any sense. We never intended to locate the business there.”

A list of liquor licenses having any status in Fulton County and posted on the state Liquor Control Board’s (LCB) Web site shows that a distributor-malt license for PPC Distributors LLC, 216 South First Street, Mc- Connellsburg, Pa., is pending. The LCB Web site information lists “Brett A. Cornelius, Craig E. Taylor (sic) and William Palmer” un- der officer information for PPC Distributors.

Palmer told the “News” that drawings for the senior living center are “about 60 percent complete, with senior living operators to do proposals and studies.” He has met with Fulton County Medical Center representatives for plans to provide the senior living center training and services, according to Palmer, who said in the WHAG-TV interview that the Medical Center supported his idea for a senior living center.

The old hospital has stood empty since November 2007 following the opening of the new 100,000-square-foot Medical Center west of town. The vacated building and campus were bought less than a year later, in 2008, by Triple P Ventures, a limited partnership represented by Palmer. Tax stamps listed at the time the deed transfer was recorded indicate that Triple P Ventures paid $425,000 for the property, which included the hospital building and three houses fronting South Second Street that were used by the Medical Center for various reasons. “News” publisher Jamie Greathead contributed to this story.

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