PEPPERELL -- For the second time, selectmen voted to continue a hearing on amendments to the town's liquor license regulations after failing to reach consensus.

The hearing on proposed amendments to the town's alcohol regulations for private clubs will reconvene at 7:30 p.m. on June 23.

The need for the change was brought to light after an investigation of a possible liquor license last December at the VFW, in which a guest at a rental function stayed afterward to drink at the club without being signed in by a member. The Board of Selectmen found no fault for the VFW due to the vague regulation.

"We had an issue at a club. This is not about that issue. This is about as we went through the regulation in regard to that issue, it appeared to me that we had basically a loophole in the regulation," said Chairman Michael Green.

The original amendment, according to Green, exempts guests at rental functions from abiding by the club regulations. Green's proposal for an amendment would have allowed attendees of rental functions to to be admitted without a sponsoring member only during the hours of the function.

Police Chief David Scott said that amendment actually weakened the regulation, by allowing attendees of rental functions to drink at the club during the hours of the functions.


Scott suggested an alternative that Green said was too restrictive, which said that attendees at rental functions should only be allowed to enter the club to make a bar purchase and must immediately return to the private function room.

Green said he was concerned the amendments were being proposed with the VFW specifically in mind, rather than writing a general regulation for all private clubs.

"Although we're thinking of one private club, we're not thinking of all the different nuances in another private club," Green said.

In general, he said, he would prefer to be more general and let the club have some discretion.

"I just want to be careful that if we put restrictive language in there, we don't resrict something that we don't want to restrict," Green said.

In other business, selectmen:

* Approved 3-0 a request to have lights installed at Jersey Street Field for night baseball games. The lights would be turned off by 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 10 p.m. every other night.

* Accepted the resignation of Pepperell Police Officer Ryan Coyle, who will be taking a position with the Lowell Police Department. If a vote for a Proposition 2 1/2 override fails in a special election on June 16, Coyle's position, as well as one other currently unfilled officer position, would be cut from the budget. His resignation means that the department would not have to immediately lay off any more officers if the override fails, although it would remain understaffed.

* Appointed George Clark as a member of the Planning Board, Dennis Kane as an associate member of the Planning Board and Bill Kennison as a member of the Board of Public Works. Selectmen also appointed Janice M. Young, Jennifer Kingsbury and Jen Gavrichev as election workers to staff the June 16 special election.