Edgartown selectmen warn Sophia’s on alcohol sales

— File photo by Ralph Stewart

At their Monday meeting, Edgartown selectmen warned the manager of Sophia’s One Stop Mart to work more closely with police to prevent alcohol sales to minors.

Selectmen scheduled a public hearing after police cited the fuel station and convenience store on Upper Main Street in August, the second violation in less than a month.

Det. Sgt. Chris Dolby told selectmen he was not pleased with the response of the store clerks after he witnessed an 18-year-old man buy two 30-packs of beer. “They weren’t taking it very seriously,” Mr. Dolby told selectmen.

Attorney Marilyn Vukota, who represented Sophia’s manager Paulo Rodrigues at the hearing, said since the second violation, the store has purchased a scanning device to help check identification, and expects to install the machine this week.

“The are very apologetic,” Ms. Vukota said. “There may be some language barrier, but we appreciate and understand that’s not an excuse.”

The selectmen’s reprimand stopped short of a license suspension.

“I’m inclined to ask for your cooperation, with the understanding that sales to minors will require us, going forward, to suspend the license,” chairman Art Smadbeck said. “I really much prefer everybody works together and works hard at it.”

In another alcohol licensing matter, selectmen accepted the surrender of an annual alcohol license from Détente. In its letter to selectmen the restaurant managers said they will apply for a seasonal license next year.

Also Tuesday, selectmen authorized the board of assessors to send estimated third-quarter tax bills in December. Principal assessor Jo-Ann Resendes told selectmen that assessors will not set the tax rate until February or March, when new property valuations are finalized. Usually, the first two quarterly tax bills are estimates, and the final two are adjusted to reflect any change in the tax rate.

“In this case, the fourth-quarter bill will be larger than the first three,” Ms. Resendes said. “I don’t anticipate a huge increase.”

In other action, Carl Watt, chairman of the library building committee told selectmen that members of the committee had an exceptionally productive meeting with the Massachusetts Board of Library Trustees on October 19. The state officials assured the committee that a $5.6 million grant for the new $11 million library project is on track. The town is now fourth on a list of towns waiting for funding. State officials expect to release a new round of funding next year.