Williamstown cuts fee for one-day liquor license


WILLIAMSTOWN -- Organizations applying for a one-day liquor license for events are about to see a drop in price.

The Board of Selectmen last week unanimously approved a reduction in the long-standing price for a one-day liquor license, from $200 to $50.

Selectmen Chairwoman Jane Allen initially raised the reduction in the fee, and noted many organizations that apply for the license are nonprofits holding fundraisers.

"The latest request for two one-day liquor licenses from Billstock a few meetings ago prompted me to research the history of the fee," she said.

Allen said she learned from Town Clerk Mary Kennedy that the fee had been implemented in 1989, the same time Selectmen increased Planning Board fees.

Kennedy researched the fees charged by municipalities from across the state, Allen said, and found they highest to be $75.

The town collected roughly $5,000 from 25 licenses last year, Allen said. She noted there would be a financial impact -- the town would have collected $1,250 if it had implemented a reduced fee earlier -- but suggested more entities would now be encouraged to apply.

Board members agreed and noted nonprofits would benefit from the reduction.

In other business, the Selectmen last week signed a resolution expressing support for a cultural district in town.

Under the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Cultural Districts Initiative, a special designation is given to areas of a town to help the local arts and humanities community. According to the Cultural Council website, the special status has been granted to 19 districts since it was implemented in 2011, including one in Pittsfield and Shelburne Falls.

The state provides money for signage and the town would become eligible for state grants.

Resident Fran Lapidus brought the idea to the Selectmen in May, and they gave her their blessing. She has since worked with Town Planner Andrew Groff on what the district may look like, but was not present at the meeting.

The proposed cultural district's boundaries, made available on a map distributed at the meeting, would stretch as far west as Stone Hill and as far east as the Water Street business district. Included in the cultural district would be the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williams College Museum of Art, Field Park, and the Spring Street business district.

Allen said the resolution was needed for the town's application, which already has been submitted. The Mass Cultural Council is expected to decide if the town is expected this May.

To reach Edward Damon:


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On Twitter: @BE_EDamon


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