The Farmhouse Beer Garden restaurant, 926 Farmington Falls Road in Farmington, plans to open in July. Selectmen approved the liquor license request Tuesday night. The outdoor restaurant will serve wine, beer, pizza, light foods and ice cream. Submitted photo

FARMINGTON — Selectmen on Tuesday night approved a new liquor license for Sandy Hill Farm LLC, doing business as The Farmhouse Beer Garden, 926 Farmington Falls Road.

Owner Keeley Valverde said she is excited.

“It’s a weird time obviously. The COVID-19 is a super strange time to start a new business,” she said. “I wanted to do this prior to COVID, had already gotten verbal approval before everything happened. I figured I’m just going to move ahead.”

A lot of work has been done outside, Valverde said.

“I think it’s going to be a nice addition to the town. Farmington needs to have some nice places to be outside, have a beer. Right now, the timing is very appropriate,” she said. “The views are gorgeous. People can sit down and enjoy the fire pits.

The Farmhouse Beer Garden will serve local beer, pizza, ice cream and offer takeout.

Selectman Stephan Bunker asked about certification and server training.

People will be carded, Valverde said. She said her father will be helping her, and she had a liquor license in Pennsylvania.

“It’s more a family experience I’m going for,” she said.

Selectmen also approved changes in the Police Department and Parks and Recreation 2020 proposed budgets that will make the overall budget $770 less than the 2019 budget of $6.11 million. Reductions made previously to the Farmington Fire Rescue Department had cut that budget by $239,164.

Police Chief Jack Peck cut his budget 5.9%. The $88,123 reduction comes from six months of not staffing two police officer positions, a decrease in training and travel as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, lower fuel prices and not purchasing a new police vehicle this year. The new budget is $1.31 million.

“It’s still a big number,” he said.

Selectman Scott Landry asked how the police officers were holding up.

“There’s a lot of stress,” Peck said. “The pandemic and as you saw downtown today the third protest in town. Running two vacant positions, it’s tough, there’s not much we can do about it. I’m going to hire the best out there.”

Parks and Recreation Department Director Matthew Foster cut almost $5,000 from his budget. Some money that would have gone toward the swim program was moved into equipment repair because of issues with the 2002 truck previously used by the sewer department and a 6-year-old mower, he said.

Some money was removed from the Community Center for electricity, first aid supplies and snow removal.

Town Manager Richard Davis said he planned to review the new figures with the Budget Committee next week.

“It could all be a moot point. You are authorized to commit taxes,” he said. “With the latest Executive Order restricting meetings to less than 50 people through August, you can’t hold Town Meeting until September.

“I’m suggesting skipping Town Meeting altogether this year, commit taxes based on last year,” he said. “You can do that. It’s something to think about.”


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