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Does An Art Gallery Need A Liquor License?

Part Four of a transcript from the Jan. 6, 2014 Board of Selectmen meeting. For the full meeting, go here

8:16 p.m. to 8:26 p.m.

Markus Lewis came before the board to ask if he could serve wine not-for-profit at wine and cheese parties at his art studio in the town center: Markus+Leslie.

He said that he does not want to charge and his wife Leslie is TIPS certified, but he would need to charge if he had to pursue multiple one-day licenses.

The parties, which so far have not had alcohol, usually have around 30 people.

Lewis said that it would be possible to have these parties without the wine, but other art galleries in nearby towns have that.

He also noted that he has had a gallery in town for 25 years.

Cohen discussed difficulties under state law, citing that the best routes might be either a pouring license or a catering license, although neither route would work entirely. A third route might be a “bring your own booze” option.

Currently Chelmsford does not offer “BYOB” licenses, but they generally look the other way for non-restaurants, and that other towns in the state have wildly varying policies.

Hanson asked if the board would need to make its own guidelines, and Cohen said it would be possible, but it would open the door.

Several members of the board said that additional review would be needed regarding a potential policy, with Selectman George Dixon said it would likely be needed that Markus+Leslie would need to be responsible for liability.

The issue was continued to the next meeting’s agenda.

Lewis has said that if the issue cannot be resolved soon, the parties may be moved to the Westford Regency, which does have a license, although he does not want to move to Westford.

8:28 p.m. to 8:32 p.m.

The board named Wotjas as the board’s delegate to the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association, a vote on resolutions regarding OPEB and Zoning from the Massachusetts Municipal Association and other unscheduled items.

8:32 p.m. to 8:40 p.m.

The board went to liason reports.

George Dixon – Grinder Pump Committee meetings will be filmed and they will be held on Tuesday nights at 6:30 in the same room the Selectmen’s meetings are being held.

Pat Wotjas – Wotjas attended the ceremony of Chelmsford’s most recent Eagle Scout, Quentin Nichols, who put up mile markers along the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.

She also encouraged people to go to the Financial Fitness Fair on Saturday and said that she and Cohen went to the Massachusetts Firefighter of the Year Awards.

She also asked if Pond Street needed to be re-closed, with Cohen saying it was closed now and that the issue may have to be revisited due to Chapter 90 funding.

Jim Lane – Lane gave thanks to Gary Perschetti for snow clearance, saying he did an excellent job and that it helped having the storm near a holiday. He also praised the governor for telling workers to stay home.

He talked about the Center Village Master Plan Committee, with an update on their recent work and a notice that he will be talking to the Conservation Commission tomorrow and on Jan. 27 to the Selectmen on the plan.

Janet Askenburg – She asked residents to take a moment to go to ChelmsfordTV.org/survey to provide feedback for Telemedia and also noted that kindergarten registration begins next week.

Matt Hanson – Hanson will be re-starting up his office hours at the Java Room on Thursday. 

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