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Some Sharon FinCom Members Question Amendment to Town Meeting Alcohol License Proposal

They wonder if Sharon Market would continue selling groceries if granted an all-alcohol license.

Some Sharon Finance Committee members Monday night questioned whether the would continue sell groceries if Sharon licenses it to sell all-alcoholic beverages.

Sharon Market owner Jonathan Hall replied that the majority of his business is beer and wine sales. However, he is "looking at other vendors to bring in other foods that are more in line with what customers want" at his Sharon Center shop, such as cheeses and prepared foods, he said.

A proposal on Monday night's annual town meeting warrant asks voters to authorize selectmen to file a home rule petition with the Legislature allowing Sharon to issue four all-alcohol sales licenses, but only to businesses at Shaw's Plaza, Sharon Commons or along Route 1.

However, an amendment facing voters would allow up to eight licenses and "may be located in a food store," Town Administrator Benjamin Puritz said during the finance committee's open warrant meeting Monday night.

The number of potential licenses is based on a formula, Puritz said.

Hall and owner Maria Semyoniv have sought the amendment, citing competition.

Both businesses have beer and wine licenses. Semyoniv said Monday night that food represents 60 to 70 percent of her business.

However, finance committee Vice Chairman Ira Miller said Sharon Market is "not a food store. It's a liquor store where you buy food."

Miller questioned why the amendment was being presented so close to town meeting.

Puritz said Hall and Semyoniv met with selectmen last week.

Hall also raised concerns at a selectmen's meeting this winter, Puritz said.

Selectmen plan to vote a position on the amendment Monday night, before town meeting, Puritz said.

The finance committee will meet with selectmen at 6:30 p.m., 30 minutes before the town meeting, finance Chairman Joel Lessard said.

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