Edgartown will be getting two new liquor stores, as the selectmen Monday approved seasonal all-alcohol licenses for package stores on Main street and in Nevin Square. The 65 Main street store, Edgartown Spirits, will be operated by manager Barbara Courtney. Son Ted Courtney, who spoke on his mother’s behalf because she could not attend the meeting, said his mother planned to open a store with a “bright, welcoming atmosphere” that offers artisanal liquor and microbrews, as well as supplies for outdoor entertaining, including picnic baskets and kitchen utensils.
“I think that will be a big plus to have something like that down here,” selectman Margaret Serpa said.
Sarah Elizabeth Webber will be the manager of the Nevin Square store at 29 Winter street, which will offer boutique wine and craft beer. Ms. Webber’s attorney said her client had experience in the industry, and had letters of support from Nevin Square neighbors.
During the discussion, Gary Look of Al’s Package Store questioned how many alcohol licenses the town could grant, and asked if the town is already well served by existing liquor stores, noting that the new stores make it more difficult for year-round businesses.
Town administrator Pamela Dolby said there is no limit to the number of seasonal licenses.
“We have this great influx of people that come in the summertime,” selectman Arthur Smadbeck said. “We have adequate service, I think, to serve the year-round community at this point, but with this added number of people that come — and it’s quite a large number — it swells the population of Edgartown manyfold.” He said he saw the additional stores as creating a more diverse shopping experience for customers, not as taking away business from the year-round stores.
Both licenses were approved unanimously.
In other business, the selectmen approved Edgartown police officer James Craig’s proposal to hold Tactical Response Team training at the Warren House, a town-owned abandoned house on North Water street.
Mr. Craig said the team frequently trains in the same venues, like a hotel and the fire station, and thus always knows what to expect. Training at the Warren House, he said, would offer the team a new environment that more closely resembles real-life situations.
“It occurred to me the building is there and unoccupied,” said Mr Craig, and it would “provide very valuable training to our guys who have not seen that building before.”
Selectmen also voted to renew the contract for the Edgartown-Falmouth Ferry, which uses Memorial Wharf to load and unload passengers. The three-year contract is worth $12,000 each year. The selectmen approved the following appointments: Martin (Skip) Tomassian as an alternate to the historic district commission, Elizabeth Villard to the cemetery commission, Renee Clermont to the beautification advisory committee and Glenn Carpenter to the council on aging. There was also good news from the waterfront. “We have just begun to put a dent in the scallops in Cape Pogue,” shellfish constable Paul Bagnall said. Selectmen approved an increase to the shellfish limit: five 10 gallon washbaskets (including shells) will be permitted, an increase from three washbaskets. “It really is an amazing thing when you have good news for bay scallops in February,” Mr. Bagnall said.