EAST GREENWICH — With specific guidelines and regulations in place, there will be an allowance of alcohol service on both Town property and outside of business establishments alongside Main Street in East Greenwich.
Members of the East Greenwich Town Council, by a close 3-2 vote, approved the amendment of Chapter 15 entitled “Alcoholic Beverages” by adding two new sections named “Alcoholic Beverage Policy” and “Outdoor Sidewalk Liquor Service.” The amended ordinance will provide residents and business owners to request licenses to serve alcoholic beverages on Town property for special events, as well as service with meals at tables on the sidewalk outside of restaurants.
The “Alcoholic Beverages” section, which will be Chapter 15-7 of the municipal charter, states that liquor liability insurance will be required in order to obtain a special liquor license for a one-day event on Town property, the chief of police – Thomas Coyle – may require certification and/or alcohol training at certain events and the licenses can be revoked at any time without the right to a hearing at the discretion of the Town Council.
Councilman Brad Bishop, who voted in favor of the amendment, said there would be some organizations that would benefit from service of alcohol on special occasions. Councilman Jeffrey Cianciolo said there have been instances in the past where alcohol being served on Town property went “under the radar” and this amendment would “be a way to formalize this.”
“The residents benefit,” Cianciolo said. “The Town benefit, making sure there’s insurance in place and guidelines in place to the extent that if there is a problem, there’s tools in place to deal with them.”
Mark Gee and Michael Kiernan voted against Chapter 15-7 on the grounds that the ordinance, Gee believes, might put Town buildings at risk in case there are any alcohol-related incidents, while Kiernan feels it’s a liability issue.
“We have some beautiful buildings and some assets,” Gee said. “And I want to keep them protected.”
For the “Outside Sidewalk Liquor Service” section, which is Chapter 15-8, the amendments will be that service will be provided seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and there will be two separate licensing periods during the spring and summer months.
For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the July 11 issue of the East Greenwich Pendulum.