The alcohol farm products working group will not be extended beyond its Dec. 31 term, Southold Town Board members agreed last Tuesday.
Some members of the group had requested that it be extended another six months, but three of the group’s nine members said they did not want to continue, Supervisor Scott Russell said.
“The problem is that there is a substantial learning curve given the uniqueness of the issues,” Mr. Russell said, adding that continuing with new members, “would probably result in the group having to go back to the beginning on some of the issues.”
Six more months “simply isn’t sufficient to cover everything,” the supervisor said. In addition, he said, the group’s secretary can’t serve beyond the Dec. 31 expiration date, leaving “too many empty spots to get it up and running again in any reasonable time frame.”
The group was formed in April and usually met every two weeks to work on recommendations about how the town should address local wine, beer, distillery and cider operations, most of which are not broadly or expressly mentioned in the code.
While the Town Board has not received final recommendations from the group yet, Mr. Russell said the board would welcome any that are submitted and would use those as a basis for future discussions.
“They did a lot of work,” Councilman Bob Ghosio said. “I think at this point we accept their finding and we move on from there.”
Councilwoman Jill Doherty said at Tuesday’s work session that the recommendations could help form an outline for going forward.
Councilman Bill Ruland agreed the group provided an extensive amount of information for discussion, noting that a final report shouldn’t include proposed code language but points the group drew on an issue.
“The global picture is what I wanted to see,” he said, rather than proposed code language.