New Liquor License Up for Grabs in Stafford

Oct 24, 2018

Stafford Township hit a new population level that brings with it money for its coffers. That comes in the form of a new liquor license for consumption. Within the next few weeks, officials will open the bids in public and learn who the new liquor license owner is in the township.

Bidding for the license begins around $500,000, Township Administrator James Moran said recently. All bids are submitted sealed and will be opened at a specified day and time, he said.

Since 1948, new consumption and distribution liquor licenses have been based on population, according to the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. For every 3,000 residents, one consumption liquor license is permitted in a municipality. In Stafford Township, which has reached 27,000 residents, that’s a total of nine consumption liquor licenses. It doesn’t include other types of liquor licenses, such as packaged goods.

The population is based on figures from the last federal census, according to state requirements. There are some exceptions to the rules. For instance, a license issued in excess of the population cap under previous laws is considered grandfathered. Every municipality, according to state law, is entitled to issue one consumption and one distribution license where the population is fewer than 1,000 residents.

Municipalities auction off the new license to the highest bidder, who must pass a rigorous review conducted by law enforcement to determine if they’re eligible to hold a liquor license in the state, Moran said.

New licenses are often available only in growing communities due to the population caps. —G.G.S.

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