Alcohol ordinance heads to Annual Town Meeting

Making no changes on restrictions, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved on April 3 a proposed ordinance that extends hours eateries may serve alcoholic beverages.

The public had a chance to weigh in on the issue during a public hearing March 27. The selectmen, at their meeting Monday night in town hall, imposed no local restrictions on the liquor sales, and effectively promised the Economic Development Commission that only state regulations on alcohol will be followed.

The next step is a vote at the Annual Town Meeting, scheduled for May 2 at the Clune Center at Wilton High School, immediately following discussion of the annual budget.

After that, the issue goes to an adjourned town meeting vote Saturday, May 6, also at the Clune Center.

Vivian Lee-Shiue, chairman of the Economic Development Commission, had expressed a need for the change, because restaurants now stop serving alcohol sooner than in surrounding towns.

“I would ask that you not have local restrictions, and not keep us at a disadvantage with neighboring towns,” Lee-Shiue said at a selectmen’s meeting in February.

Removing the town restriction would put establishments under guidelines set by the state, which Lee-Shiue said means restaurants would close at 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends. (Package stores may remain open only until 8 p.m. on weekdays, 5 p.m. on Sundays.)