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CVS on Boston Street could lose their 24-hour license — here’s why

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LYNN — The CVS Pharmacy on Boston Street could lose its 24-hour license if it doesn’t clean up its act, according to city officials.

City Councilor-at-Large Brian Field said CVS hasn’t done any maintenance, or limited maintenance, on the outside of the property. Some curbing on the property that has been damaged from plowing looks horrible and is unsafe and it has to be addressed if they want a 24-hour license.

The CVS, which opened in 2014, was seeking to have its license renewed to continue operating as a 24-hour establishment on Tuesday night.

But the Licensing Committee opted to enact a 30-60-90 on CVS — its 24-hour license was approved on the condition that representatives from CVS come back in 30, 60, and 90-day intervals to show the committee they have made appropriate maintenance improvements.

One of the parking curbs is turned over with spikes sticking out, which is unsafe, according to Ward 6 City Councilor Peter Capano.

In addition, Field said trash barrels have not been emptied. The 30-60-90 was a warning, he said, that the city would be watching CVS for that timeframe.

“They don’t deserve it,” Field said of the 24-hour license. “(You) have to show that you want it.”

A possibility of rolling back hours to 10 p.m., like the two other CVS stores in the city, was discussed, Field said.

Dianna Chakoutis, Ward 5 City Councilor, said CVS has not paid its share into a fund established last year by businesses on Boston Street that had a 24-hour license to clean up the area.

The area, from the Boston Street Car Wash to Taco Bell, became known for its littered parking lots, sidewalks and gutters.

The fund was established after a deal brokered by City Councilor-at-Large Brian LaPierre, Ward 1 City Councilor Wayne Lozzi, and the Licensing Committee, where operators of a handful of retailers agreed to hire a contractor to clean the street and the area’s parking lots weekly.

Chakoutis said the 24-hour businesses on the street, including McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Shell gas station, and CVS all agreed to pitch in and pay into the fund to clean up the area.

Under the agreement, if the area was cleaned, the businesses would be allowed to keep operating during late-night hours. But on Tuesday, Chakoutis said the requirement to pay into the fund was taken away because the area has been great. Going forward, owners would be responsible for their own properties.

But it was also determined that CVS would have to pay what it owes to the fund.

Peter Lyons, an attorney representing CVS, attributed the store’s maintenance issues to having a turnover in store management, as it was the manager’s responsibility.

Lyons said one concern was the little curbstones in front of the store in the parking spaces, which were damaged from plowing and are being replaced. He said they would also be cleaning up shrubbery, putting down mulch and making sure trash in cans are disposed of three times a day.

Lyons said all businesses on Boston Street have problems with trash overflowing onto their properties from other venues.

“It’s not only CVS’ problem,” Lyons said. “It’s a number of commercial establishments down there. We all do our best to maintain the proper atmosphere for our clientele. We don’t want customers coming into dirty stores or (seeing) trash spewed all over.”

As far as not paying, Lyons said there’s been difficulty getting payments to the right person — there’s been conversations with John Mello, the Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee owner who organized the cleanups.

Sam Vitali, an attorney representing Mello, said with CVS not maintaining its property, his client and Dunkin’ Donuts were faced with potential liability if the contractor he hired was injured while at CVS working.

“Here we are with added liability, not getting contribution, so for that reason … we sought to get out from under that and put it back where we felt it should have been with each property,” Vitali said. “We were just trying to keep it simple and keep it confined where everyone is responsible for their employees and own property.”

Lyons said rolling back hours would be a detriment to clients who have prescriptions with CVS, because many customers come in late at night for them.

“We want to continue to work with the city on this,” he said. “We hear their concerns and we’re addressing them and hopefully, we’ll see some dramatic changes by the time we go back there in July.”

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