Sunderland mulls proposal to reduce license fees for bars

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

SUNDERLAND — The Select Board is considering a proposal to reduce liquor license fees for businesses in town.

“It makes sense for an establishment that hasn’t been open at all,” Chairman David Pierce said at a board meeting on Monday.

Town Administrator Geoffrey Kravitz explained the proposal — to reduce the liquor license by half for bars in town — was first discussed at the Sept. 21 meeting. He said the discussion came up as a result of other towns, such as Hadley, considering similar proposals.

The town’s fees, Kravitz said, are $1,400 per year for all alcohol, or $700 per year for wine and malt.

Members noted that the fee reduction would be for the coming year.

“So how do we go go about an equitable approach, recognizing we want to help the businesses that are in town, to the extent that we can?” asked Select Board member Tom Fydenkevez.

The board requested Kravitz look into what what it actually costs the town — including costs charged by the state — before making a decision at a future meeting.

The board expects to discuss the proposal again at a remotely held meeting Oct. 5.