It has been an active few months for liquor licenses in Braintree, and the latest news from the state's alcohol control board has only added to the commotion.
First, the mayor said this spring that he would put forward legislation to increase Braintree's available alcohol licenses to promote small business growth in key areas of town.
Then the Board of License Commissioners wrote , and in between the state told town officials that Braintree's because of an increase in population shown in the 2010 Census.
Now the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission has informed officials that due to a typo on paperwork sent to Braintree in May, the town has an additional all-alcohol restaurant license, on top of the previously announced increase, bringing Braintree's entire alcohol quota to 62 licenses, up from 56 earlier this year.
While the number 62 is wholly separate from the six licenses (targeted two each to Braintree Square, South Braintree Square and Weymouth Landing) that Mayor Joseph Sullivan has proposed, the extra license granted by the state may influence members of the on Aug. 10, when they will likely decide whether or not to send the legislation to the State House for approval.
Police Chief Paul Frazier, during Tuesday's license board meeting, suggested that a reduction might be in order for Sullivan's proposal now that the town has an additional restaurant license. He said that some small businesses he has spoken with are already facing economic pressure from other restaurants in Braintree and more licenses could put them under.
The mayor's legislation seeks to combat the influence large corporate owners and restaurant franchises have over licenses in Braintree by asking the state legislature to grant the extra six licenses. Businesses would only be allowed to transfer the permits to other restaurants in their designated economic zones or otherwise forfeit them back to the town.
"Historically," Sullivan wrote in a letter to the council, "these licenses have all been issued, making an available liquor license in our Town something rare and valuable and often commanding a high price in a private transfer transaction."
Currently, with the new additions from the Census, there are three all-alcohol restaurant licenses available, out of a total of 38, according to an account provided by the licensing coordinator at the meeting on Tuesday. There is also one wine and malt license available for restaurants, out of a total of eight.
For package stores, the limits went from seven to eight, for both wine and malt and all-alcohol.