LAMOINE — Should the town allow agency liquor store sales? What about on Sunday?
Voters here will have the chance to discuss this during a public hearing on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the town office. The questions will be voted on March 9.
During the public hearing, residents can share their verbal or written comments one at a time at the town office or via Zoom videoconferencing.
According to the town’s website, a link to access the Zoom meeting will be posted on the agenda before the hearing. The hearing also will be available on Lamoine CTV Channel 1303 and livestreamed on Town Hall Streams.
The two questions will be posed as: “Shall the town of Lamoine authorize the state to permit the operation of agency liquor stores on days other than Sunday?” and “Shall the town of Lamoine authorize the state to permit the operation of agency liquor stores on Sundays?”
Kimberly Murphy, owner of the Lamoine Marketplace on Douglas Highway, collected enough signatures on a petition to get the question placed on the ballot.
Murphy told The American that her 32 years of experience selling liquor at the Trenton Marketplace, which she sold last July and is now Edwards Brothers Supermarkets, as well as the difficult economic climate brought on by the pandemic, prompted her to get the referendum question on the ballot.
“[We’re] trying to keep our little Lamoine store in town,” she said.
In Maine, municipalities have the local option to allow liquor and alcohol sales. Currently, beer and wine can be purchased in Lamoine, including on Sunday.
Due to changes made by the 129th Legislature, municipal officers can vote to hold a local option election or citizens may initiate an election by collecting 30 signatures on a petition. Previously, the requirement for petition signatures was 15 percent of the number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.
The Lamoine Quarterly reported that when Murphy approached the selectmen and asked if they would vote to hold the referendum, selectmen unanimously decided to ask Murphy to collect the 30 signatures.