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La Vita Dolce Granted Full Liquor License, Shares Expected Opening Date

At last night’s Select Board meeting, Todd Arsenault, Ronald Pereira and Michael A. Parziale, owners of the La Vita Dolce bakery, deli and café currently under construction at 1866 Main St., requested licenses to serve food and a full range of alcoholic beverages.

Arsenault shared that there will be both outdoor and indoor tables, in addition to indoor coffee bar seating and a drive-through pick-up window. Menu items will include pastries as well as cakes, pizza, breakfast sandwiches and subs.

“We’re looking to be competitive with everybody else that has liquor,” said Parziale. “Somebody wants to come in and have a coffee with a Sambuca, cookie, cannoli and pastry, sandwich. During lunch a cold Peroni beer with an Italian cold cut sub.”

The vision for the business is clear, but some details are still being worked out, including exact operating hours. Arsenault says they plan to open at 6 a.m., seven days a week. As to closing, he’s in ongoing discussions with Susan Amato of Angelina’s to minimize problems with parking in the evenings. The opening date is also in some flux, as the group waits on a special 10 x 10 rotary stone oven. Arsenault hopes to have that installed in time to open the first week of December.

The Board voted 4 – 0 to approve both the victualler and liquor licenses; member Jay Kelly was absent. Arsenault still needs approval from the Mass. Alcoholic Beverage Commission and to petition the town for a 10 a.m. start time for serving alcohol on Sunday, should the café offer brunch items. The standard start time is noon on Sundays.

Here are six more takeaways from the meeting.

Select Board votes to support Article 6. At the last meeting, the Board tabled Article 6 until Town Manager Richard Montuori certified free cash — that is, unrestricted available funds that may be used to pay for items such as overages in snow and ice removal costs or to fund operations during an economic downturn. Last night Montuori reported that free cash was certified at $7,536,885. The plan is to ask Town Meeting to authorize him to move free cash to the town’s stabilization fund for future emergencies or one-time purchases or projects.

“We’ll be asking town meeting to also transfer the remainder of free cash, which would be $4,336,635, into the stabilization fund,” said Montuori. “The stabilization fund currently has $9,690,721 as a balance; adding this amount will bring our balance to $14,027,356.”

The Board voted 3 – 1 to recommend adoption of Article 6 with the newly certified figures included, with member Mark Kratman opposed.

Trick or treat hours set. Official hours for trick or treat on Oct. 31 are 6 – 8 p.m., in line with past years. Montuori said he confirmed those hours with TPD Chief Ryan Columbus. That vote was unanimous.

New school on time, budget. Board member Jayne Wellman, the Select Board rep to the Elementary School Building Committee, reported that substantial completion will be October 28, with final completion in December and students ready to move in in January. The project remains on time and on budget.

Mattress disposal to change. Montuori reported that as of November, Republic Services will no longer pick up mattresses and dispose of them for the community. The town has contracted with UTEC in Lowell to collect used mattresses and disassemble them to recycle parts and components, beginning on Oct. 24. Residents may schedule pickups beginning on Oct. 15. The cost will be $34 per mattress or box spring. Watch for more information.

Electricity rate alert. National Grid will be increasing electric rates for residential and commercial customers.

“We do have a Community Choice power rate for residents to take advantage of, which is 10.9 cents,” said Montuori. “I believe National Grid rates, we’re looking at 33.89 cents. So residents who are already in that [Community Choice] plan will be fine. But those who may have opted out or are unaware of it should go on the town’s website under the Town Manager section and opt in. We’ll be doing a mailing to residents about this to let them know, but that’s a significant difference for residents to take advantage of.”

Info on the Tewksbury Community Choice Power Supply Program is here.

Reuse committee survey still ongoing. Kratman, who sits on the North & Trahan School Reuse Committee, said that the survey to determine resident preferences for these parcels is still up. It runs through Oct. 4. Once closed, the committee will compile results and bring a recommendation to the Select Board.

Learn more about what that committee is working on and find the survey link here.

Lorna is a U.S. Army veteran and 25-year resident of Tewksbury who has written for organizations ranging from the DIA to InformationWeek to a free weekly in New London that sent her to interview the pastry chef at Foxwoods.

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