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Cedar Street Market License Suspension Upheld

The state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) has upheld the town's five-day suspension, imposed last July 27, of the beer and wine license held by the Cedar Street Market at 100 East Main St. (Route 16). Allowing for an appeal period, selectmen voted on April 25 to impose the suspension from May 26 through May 30.

Last July 1, the Police Department conducted a "sting" of 15 licensed establishments to see if they would sell beer to a minor. The store sold to the police operative, and police also stopped two under-age people leaving the store, each with beer in their possession, according to the ABCC's April 14 ruling. Store owner Mui Tran appealed the selectmen's five-day suspension to the ABCC last year, and the state agency held a hearing on her appeal on November 17.

In discussing the ABCC's decision, Selectman Brian Murray noted the state agency was critical of two parts of how the Police Department conducted the sting – giving stores advance notice that a sting would be conducted, and not having written guidelines for the sting. However, Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin said the ABCC's decision was wrong on both those points because his department had issued notice to the local press that a sting would be conducted and a detective testified at the ABCC hearing that the sting was conducted using the state agency's own guidelines.

Town Administrator Louis Celozzi told selectmen that Town Counsel Gerald Moody recommended letting the ABCC decision stand uncorrected. Murray suggested having Moody research and write guidelines for future police alcohol stings.

By a 2-1 vote, with Selectman William Buckley dissenting, selectmen approved a new exclusive memorandum of understanding with Milford Crossroads, LLC – the company proposing to build a resort casino complex off Route I-495. The agreement benefits only the developer and not the town, Buckley said. "I just can't find the reciprocal benefit to the community," he said.

Buckley suggested spending the $65,000 payment promised by the developer to the town to evaluate a local casino proposal on looking into the backgrounds of Crossroads principals David Nunes and William Warner and see if they have the ability to build a resort casino complex. "Right now, the town really doesn't know anything about the developer," he said. In addition, Buckley said the funds could be used to influence legislation at the State House level regarding the rights of casino host communities.

Murray disagreed, saying he wanted no funds spent or any effort expended by the town until casinos are allowed in the state and there is a concrete proposal involving Milford. "I'm not looking to do anything on this until we find out it is a possible application to the town," he said. "I just don't want to be talking about this at every meeting. I just don't think it's that immediate."

Chairman Dino DeBartolomeis said that once a casino is officially proposed for Milford, it will go through a thorough examination. "That $65,000, to me, is only a beginning," he said. "I think we will need many, many consultants."

In other business, Celozzi notified selectmen that the hazardous waste abatement at 62 North Bow St. – predating the building of the Senior Center at that site – has been completed. "This has been a very long process," he said. "The site is clean."


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