Edgartown looks at extended seasonal liquor licenses

Edgartown is considering an extension of seasonal liquor licenses. — Lexi Pline

Edgartown selectmen have set a Sept. 28 meeting to discuss the potential of extending seasonal liquor licenses.

Rosewater Wine & Spirits owner Julia Tarka reached out to town administrator James Hagerty and administrative assistant Karen Fuller to potentially extend the liquor license for her store. Tarka said all of her year-round staff were transferred to the Wine & Spirits store, and she wanted to keep it open to support her staff and business.

In Edgartown, seasonal liquor licenses expire on Nov. 30, which then leaves only year-round establishments with alcohol licenses to operate. Selectman Arthur Smadbeck said the issue of extending the liquor licenses for seasonal businesses is “complicated.”

“The restaurants that stay open all year round, we need them to stay year-round, the community wants them. One of the benefits they get is that during December and some of these months they get to stay open, and it helps get through the winter,” he said. 

Tarka said she understood the importance of other businesses being open in the winter.

“It’s not my intention in any way to do something that helps me that would hurt the year-round establishments that I frequent as well,” she said. “It would be to help as many people as possible.”

Currently there are 25 seasonal alcohol licenses and 17 year-round alcohol licenses in Edgartown.

Hagerty said either he or Fuller would reach out to each of the licensed establishments and notify them of the meeting.

In other business, two new banners promoting the 2020 Census will be hung up in Edgartown. The banners, one in English and one in Portuguese, will be hung up at the Yellow House and another at Lower Main street.

Dukes County commissioner Keith Chatinover told selectmen that the Island has seen only a 30 percent response rate, but added that if seasonal residences are factored out, the Island is closer to an 85 percent response rate. That 85 percent response rate does not include census door knockers — only those who responded via the phone and online.

Paddy Moore and Cindy Trish of Healthy Aging Martha’s Vineyard informed selectmen that Healthy Aging would begin conducting a Islandwide older adult survey.

Five years ago, Healthy Aging conducted a survey to collect data on the Island’s elderly population. That information was used by several Island organizations, and allowed them to identify older populations and use data to apply for grants.