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HADLEY — The Select Board meeting of Dec. 20 heard the continuation of a public hearing for the Young Men’s Club, ultimately approving the club’s request for an alteration of the current alcohol license for the premise at 138 East St.

Attorney Thomas Reidy, representing the club, detailed the request for the change to the existing regulations, for a Section 12 license allowing for the sale and purchase of alcohol on the premises to members and guests.

“What we’re looking to do, we’ve been here since June and so this part of the discussion is let’s bring it into conformity with what the club actually wants to use the land for,” Reidy said.

Reidy told the board that at present, the premises includes just the club building and that the alteration would expand the location of the alcohol service to the club’s deck, pavilion, parking area and basketball court on the western side of the property.

“It does not include the land to the east where the ball fields are and where those large public events have been held,” he said.

Reidy said an additional request, for a Section 14 license would be forthcoming for the one-day special permits to cover those areas mentioned that accommodate the club’s annual large events.

The larger club events, including Grass is Greener, Country in the Country, along with Springfest and Oktoberfest have been the subject of several town meeting agendas due to neighbor complaints concerning crowds, noise and parking issues.

Board members inquired about the Section 12 changes the club was requesting and the impact on similar concerns about potential complaints about noise or loud music from nearby residents.

Select Board member Molly Keegan said, “There’s going to be nerves on both sides,” and asked if there would be a process for neighbors to contact the club directly for a prompt response should concerns or complaints arise.”

Reidy suggested to those club members at the meeting the sending out of mailers to the area residents, providing an email or phone number for club officials so direct contact could be made if necessary.

“So, you’re [the club] the first line instead of them going to the police or the Select Board,” he said.

Community members at the meeting raised concerns about the number of people attending the regular functions on the club property and the time the potential noise and music might go.

East Street resident Frank Aquandro said the issues between the club and the community have been mounting for some time.

“All of this came about because things got a little crazy and got out of hand,” he said. “The alcohol was one issue, the noise was one issue, the vehicular traffic, the number of people. So, the neighbors had to adapt.”

Aquandro also said they were now trying to find a concession but that they are looking for more respect from the club for the neighbors while other residents expressed concerns about the club’s unlimited cap for the number of potential members.

At the conclusion of the public hearing, a board vote approved the Section 12 alteration of the license with the stipulation for review should issues dictate.

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