Liquor transfers won't be automatic under proposed legislation

Liquor transfers won't be automatic under proposed legislation

SMITHFIELD - The Town Council has taken a step toward tightening its control over who gets liquor licenses in town.

The council agreed at its Feb. 4 meeting to seek legislation allowing it to recall the license of any liquor-serving establishment that either closes or is sold, rather than simply approving a transfer of the permit to a new owner.

The council currently has authority to reject a license transfer, but under the proposed law it would be made clearer that the application of a new owner must stand on its own merits, according to Town Solicitor Edmund L. Alves Jr.

Council Vice President Ronald Manni noted that the current system gives the mistaken impression that a liquor license automatically goes with a property transfer.

Alves noted that if the requested bill is passed, Smithfield would be the fourth community in the state to operate under the new policy, along with East Greenwich, Pawtucket and Cumberland.

In another matter related to proposed legislation, the council cemented its previous decision favoring a police station expansion referendum by agreeing to seek General Assembly permission to put the $6.4-million project on November's general election ballot.

Police Chief Richard St. Sauveur Jr. has said the 42-year-old station on Pleasant View Avenue is leaky, overcrowded, a security risk, and lacks basic accommodations and enough room for the traffic and detective divisions to do their work.

The expansion and renovation project would double the size of the station to 24,500 square feet and include cell block renovation, increased space for the town's Emergency Management Agency, security upgrades, improvements to the training and women's locker room, and a public bathroom in the lobby.

In other action, the council reappointed Cathy Riley high school liaison, and Donna Moan middle school liaison, to the town's Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force.

Paul M. Dumouchel was also named to the Housing Authority.