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Sunday Alcohol Sales a No-Go in Wilton, For Now

WILTON, Conn. – Even though the state is now allowing liquor sales on Sundays, Wilton does not have to follow suit, the Board of Selectmen said Monday night.

Residents of Wilton will be able to vote, in the November elections or in a special vote, on whether they want liquor to be sold on Sundays in town. But until then, no Sunday sales will be allowed in Wilton.

When prohibition ended in 1932, Wilton opted to not follow the state and banned alcohol sales in town. That gives the town a bit of leeway now when it comes to Sunday sales, according to Selectman Hal Clark.

Wilton was classified as a dry town until 1993, when the local ordinance was altered to permit the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants. In November 2009, a referendum proposal to allow liquor stores passed, and the ordinance was enacted in 2010.

Once the selectmen have looked over the new Sunday law, they’ll hand it over to the town council, which will come back with an opinion on what it would mean to Wilton. From there, the board will share what they have learned with the town.

Historically, Selectman Richard Dubow said, Wilton has had “a mind of its own” on this issue for decades.

“When it comes to liquor Wilton is pretty vocal,” Clark said. And hearings will be held, he said. And the selectmen will invite anyone with a “strong opinion on this” to gather their thoughts and voice them at the meetings.

The town is “very mindful of local businesses,” Clark said, as seen when the town voted to not allow beer to be sold in grocery stores. “Wilton has very strong views on this.”

Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the Sunday sales bill into law May 14, and this past Sunday was the first that stores could be open. Stores do not have to be open, but if they do open, the hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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