After two previous petitions failed, Hannaford pushes to legalize liquor sales in York

Posted March 12, 2014, at 5:24 p.m.

YORK, Maine — Hannaford supermarket on Monday submitted to Town Hall a petition signed by more than 1,500 people to allow the sale of liquor in York, according to Town Clerk and Tax Collector Mary-Anne Szeniawski.

Currently, only beer and wine is allowed to be sold within town boundaries.

Szeniawski and her staff are checking the petition signatures to verify that the required number, an estimated 961 signers, are registered York voters.

Once the petition is verified, Szeniawski will send it to the Board of Selectmen to have the question of liquor sales placed on the May 17 budget referendum. Selectmen need to approve the petition by April 2 for the question to make it onto the ballot, Szeniawski said. She expects her department will have completed verifying the petition in time for it to go before selectmen at their next meeting on March 24.

Hannaford started the petition earlier this year based on customer requests, according to the supermarket’s corporate spokesman Eric Blom. Liquor is sold in other, though not all, Hannaford stores elsewhere in the state, he said.

There is no town law forbidding liquor sales, according to Community Development Director Steve Burns. Rather the state leaves the decision to individual communities, with a majority vote needed, he said. Voters have twice before rejected such a petition, both times being in the mid-1980s, according to Burns.

Should York voters approve it this time, town officials would be asked to authorize the state to permit a limited number of state liquor stores and agency liquor stores in town. A successful petition would permit the sale of alcohol beyond beer and wine not only in Hannaford, but in other stores in town, according to Blom.

 

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