The Board of Selectmen this week supported petitioning the state to grant the town the authority to issue five additional all-alcoholic beverages licenses beyond the present quota.
In a unanimous vote (Selectman Domenico Sestito was not present), the board recommended, contingent on town meeting approval, that one of those licenses be reserved for a hotel restaurant.
“I think it’s a good idea to have additional liquor licenses in the drawer,” Selectwoman Donna Pursel said.
Currently there are seven package store, eight seasonal, and 14 annual (year-round) licensees, with no more annual licenses available.
The number of seasonal licenses the selectmen can issue is unlimited, but the number of additional licenses that they recommend can be changed on the floor of town meeting.
“The purpose of issuing a license is to meet a public need,” Town Counsel James Lampke said.
While supporting the board’s initial recommendation, Selectman John Reilly said he may make a substitute motion at town meeting.
He also noted that, in light of past town meetings, “some people are concerned about the number of liquor licenses the town can issue already and want some kind of safety valve. We’ve crafted the best article we can, and we’ll see what people think who attend.”
While the Advisory Board recommends favorable action on the warrant article, voters at the May 8 town meeting will have the final say.